Green Haven Correctional Facility

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Green Haven Correctional Facility is a maximum security prison in New York. The prison is located in the Town of Beekman in Dutchess County. The New York State Department of Correctional Services lists the address as Route 216, Stormville, NY 12582. This prison housed New York's death row during the time the state briefly had the death penalty (but never used it) in the post-Furman era. New York's electric chair "old sparky" was moved here from the Ossining prison. It was originally a federal prison and now houses maximum security inmates, most of them having ties to Mafias and mobs.[citation needed] Green Haven Correctional Facility also operates a Hot Kosher Food Program;[1] because of this, the prison has a large Jewish population.[2]

Notable inmates[edit]

Correction officer deaths[edit]

There have been at least two deaths of correction officers in the line of duty.

The first was of Donna Payant on May 15, 1981, who disappeared while working at the prison. Her body was later found in a garbage dump 20 miles away, sexually violated and strangled, similar to the bodies of victims of serial killer Lemuel Smith, an inmate at the prison. A bite mark on Payant's chest also matched Smith's tooth pattern. It was determined that Smith had sexually assaulted and strangled Payant in the prison chaplain's office before putting her body in a trash bag and throwing it out with the trash.

On January 31, 2007, a Correction Officer in Tower One was found dead due to an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Fire and police were dispatched around 10:30 p.m., when they found the hatch to the ladder blocked, they used a Beekman Fire Department ladder truck to break in and get access. The tower was closed for investigation, and the death was deemed a suicide.[4]

Previous lethal injection facility[edit]

Capital punishment was reinstated in New York in 1995, fulfilling Governor Pataki's campaign pledge. In 2004, in People v. LaValle, the New York Court of Appeals struck down the statute as unconstitutional under the New York Constitution (at the time, only two individuals were under a sentence of death). Although several individuals were sentenced to death, none were executed, and the Court of Appeals later commuted the sentence of the final individual under a sentence of death in New York (People v. John Taylor, 2007). In 2008, Governor Paterson ordered the lethal injection equipment removed.


Bard Prison Initiative[edit]

The Bard Prison Initiative, which seeks to reduce rates of recidivism and offer prisoners college education and tutoring, operates at multiple prisons including Green Haven.

In the media[edit]

Inmates and correctional officers at Green Haven were featured in the PBS Frontline program A Class Divided.[5]

References[edit] NY Times Article On Guard Suicide.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°34′49″N 73°43′00″W / 41.58028°N 73.71667°W / 41.58028; -73.71667