Green Haven Correctional Facility

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Green Haven Correctional Facility
LocationTown of Beekman, Dutchess County, New York, United States
Coordinates41°34′49″N 73°43′00″W / 41.58028°N 73.71667°W / 41.58028; -73.71667Coordinates: 41°34′49″N 73°43′00″W / 41.58028°N 73.71667°W / 41.58028; -73.71667
Security classMaximum
Managed byNew York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

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 Corrections and Community Supervision lists the address as Route 216, Stormville, NY 12582. This prison housed New York's execution chamber during the time the state briefly had the death penalty (but never used it) in the post-Furman era.[2][3] It was originally a federal prison and now houses maximum security inmates. Green Haven Correctional Facility also operated a Hot Kosher Foods Program;[4] but no longer does as of 2020. However, because of this, the prison had a large Jewish population.[5] Yale Law School operates the Green Haven Prison Project, a series of seminars among Yale law students and Green Haven inmates on law and policy issues concerning prisons and criminal law.[6]

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.[13]

Previous death house facility[edit]

In the early 1970's, New York's electric chair "Old Sparky" was moved here from Sing Sing Correctional Facility.[14] Capital punishment was reinstated in New York in 1995 when Governor George Pataki signed a new statute into law, which provided for execution by lethal injection. On June 24, 2004, in the case 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 seven individuals were sentenced to death, no one was executed, and the Court of Appeals later commuted the sentence of the final individual under a sentence of death in New York on October 23, 2007, in the case People v. John Taylor. In July 2008, Governor David Paterson issued an executive order requiring the disestablishment of death row and the closure of the state's execution chamber at Green Haven Correctional Facility.[15]

Inmate resources and services[edit]

Inmates at Green Haven Correctional Facility can get jobs through the NYSDOCCS Correctional industries. The jobs they can receive are, working in an upholstery shop as well as furniture manufacturing. Inmates incarcerated at this facility can also receive vocational training such as, barbering, building maintenance, computer information and technology, computer operator, computer repair, custodial maintenance, electrical, painting and decorating, printing and finally, small engine repair. Inmates may also earn GEDs or college education. Prisoners will also receive counseling as well as drug and alcohol treatment.


The Alternatives to Violence Project was conceived at the prison in 1975 as a workshop.

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.[16] The Facility is made reference to in the film Carlito's Way. It is also featured in the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit season 17 episode "Nationwide Manhunt" which features an elaborate prison break.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Green Haven Deputy Superintendent, C.O. stabbed in attack by inmate". September 27, 2000.
  2. ^ "Inmate 99-B-0067". New York State Department of Correctional Services. Saturday January 16, 1999. Retrieved on September 2, 2010."Monroe County Sheriff's Department officers transported Mateo at 4:45 a.m. today to the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora in Clinton County, location of the Unit for Condemned Prisoners (UCP) who are male[...] The UCP at Clinton has been physically operable for use since August 31, 1995, the day before the death penalty law took effect, as has a similar three-cell UCP for females at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County plus the single-cell death house at Green Haven Correctional Facility in Stormville in Dutchess County. Neither of the two latter units will be staffed until there are inmates on them."
  3. ^ Scott, Brendan. "GOV PULLS SWITCH ON DEATH CELL" (Archive). Daily News (New York). July 24, 2008. Retrieved on September 2, 2010. "The Department of Correctional Services has quietly struck from the books a 40-year-old rule that designated the upstate Green Haven Correctional Facility the state’s “Capital Punishment Unit.”[...] Although seven defendants were sentenced to death after then-Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, signed the law, the death house has never hosted an execution.[...]"
  4. ^ Green Haven Correctional Facility Directive 08/13/2013
  5. ^ "A Jewish Ex-Con Recalls Keeping Kosher with the Faithful in Prison". The Daily Beast. 2014-05-11. Retrieved 2014-05-11.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Gross, Terry. "Released From Prison, 'Apologetic Bandit' Writes About Life Inside". NPR. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  9. ^ "John Lennon's killer denied parole again, for 12th time". ABC News. 12 September 2022. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  10. ^ "Mark David Chapman Custody Record". Commission of Correction. June 29, 2022. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  11. ^ Newton, Michael (1993). Hunting Humans: An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers. Avon Books. p. 135. ISBN 9780380765096.
  12. ^ "Waldo Grant Custody Record". VINELink. Retrieved 2022-12-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ "Green Haven guard commits suicide at work". Poughkeepsie Journal. 2007-02-01. Archived from the original on June 10, 2015. Retrieved 2007-02-15.
  14. ^ "NYCHS excerpts: Mark Gado's 'Stone Upon Stone: Sing Sing Prison'". Retrieved 2010-09-06.
  15. ^ Scott, Brendan. "GOV PULLS SWITCH ON DEATH CELL" (Archive[permanent dead link]). New York Daily News. July 24, 2008. Retrieved on September 2, 2010. "The Department of Correctional Services has quietly struck from the books a 40-year-old rule that designated the upstate Green Haven Correctional Facility the state's "Capital Punishment Unit."[...] Although seven defendants were sentenced to death after then-Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, signed the law, the death house has never hosted an execution.[...]"
  16. ^ A Class Divided transcript

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]