Fishkill Correctional Facility

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Fishkill Correctional Facility
Location 18 Strack Drive
Beacon, New York
Status open
Security class medium
Capacity 1800
Opened 1977
Managed by New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

Fishkill Correctional Facility is a medium security prison in New York, United States. The prison is located in both the Town of Fishkill and the City of Beacon in Dutchess County. Fishkill was constructed in 1896. It began as the Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.

Fishkill also houses the Regional Medical Unit for Southern New York's prisons. In 1998 the prison was expanded to hold 100 maximum security inmates.[1]


The present facility is located on land originally purchased by the New York state government to build and operate Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in 1892. Some of the original buildings are in use now at Fishkill. Matteawan ceased operation in 1977 and the facility was converted to its present use as a medium security prison for men.[2]

Present day use[edit]

Fishkill houses approximately 1800 inmates, operates as the Regional Medical Unit for southern New York’s prisons and offers a wide range of educational programs including Pre-General Equivalency Diploma (Pre-GED), General Equivalency Diploma (GED), English as a Second Language (ESL), Bachelor of Arts through the Bard Prison Initiative, Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management through a partnership between Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison and Nyack College and the only Commercial Arts Program in a New York State prison.[3]

Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, a not-for-profit organization, was founded to provide college education to incarcerated people in an effort to help reduce recidivism and poverty, while strengthening families and communities. In 1998, as part of the get-tough-on-crime campaign, state and federal funding for college programs inside prison was stopped. Understanding the positive effects of education in the transformation and rehabilitation of incarcerated people, inmates at Sing Sing Correctional Facility reached out to religious and academic volunteers to develop a college-degree granting program. Under the leadership of Dr. Anne Reissner, Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison was founded to restore college education at Sing Sing through private funding. Hudson Link now runs pre-college and college degree programs at Fishkill, Greene, Sing Sing, Sullivan, and Taconic Correctional Facilities

Inmate demographics[edit]

In 2013 the prison inmate population[4] consisted of;

  • 1,650 people incarcerated; capacity 1,845
  • 54% black; 27% Latino; 18% white
  • 22% under 30; 26% 50+; 8% 60+
  • Median age: 42.5
  • Median minimum sentence: 102 months
  • 71% convicted of violent felony
  • 12% convicted of drug offense
  • Median time at Fishkill 13 months
  • Median time in DOCCS 11 years

Therapeutic programs[edit]

Fishkill is one of six prisons that incorporate the Puppies Behind Bars program. Prison inmates raise puppies to be guide dogs for the blind, disabled children and adults, and fully trained service dogs for wounded soldiers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan.[3] Oprah Winfrey filmed a segment at Fishkill Correctional Facility on the prison's Puppies Behind Bars program.[5]

The Corcraft program is a program that employs inmates to manufacture beds, chairs and computer furniture for sale to state and local governments. They also fabricate to-order heavy gauge specialty items such as security doors and windows for correctional and psychiatric institutions.[3]

Notable inmates[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision". 
  2. ^ "Matteawan State Hospital", New York Correction History Society
  3. ^ a b c "Fishkill Correctional Facility". Hudson Link. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Fishkill Correctional Facility: 2012" (PDF). Correctional Association of New York. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  5. ^,
  6. ^ Gooley, Lawrence P. (2009). Terror in the Adirondacks: The True Story of Serial Killer Robert F. Garrow. Peru, NY: Bloated Toe Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9795741-3-9. 
  7. ^, Vintage photos: 'Mad Dog' Sullivan arraigned in Syracuse in 1982, February 24, 2017, Retrieved Jun. 15, 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°31′22″N 73°57′00″W / 41.52278°N 73.95000°W / 41.52278; -73.95000