The search for the two convicted murderers who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York is very close to my hometown of Burke, New York. I still have cousins in that area and a lot of memories of going to Owls Head, New York where the latest search is taking place. Some of my relatives had a camp on a lake near Owls Head and I spent a lot of time enjoying summer vacations there.
|Prison is in the middle county at the top of NY State.|
The scene of the latest search is only 17.5 miles from where I grew up and very close to a border check point that leads into Canada. When I was young our family could have walked a mile to the Canadian border and crossed over without being stopped. The border is much more secure today.
My father spent much of his spare time roaming the woods and the hills where the police are now searching. He was a member of a hunting club like the one where the escapees’ DNA was found.
Upstate New York, especially those counties closest to the Canadian border, has a very large prison population. That area of the state is very sparsely populated and rugged, with forests and thick underbrush, and small towns scattered across the Adirondack Mountain region. The prisons are considered an economic lifesaver for a region that has few jobs and opportunities. The population of a county with a prison grows by approximately 30%—counting the inmates, prison staff, and families of inmates who move to the area. An increase in the prison population grows the county census and increases the amount of grants and representation at the State Capitol in Albany, New York. So unless there is a rare prison break, it is a win-win for the locals. This year I suspect a lot of locals are staying away from their summer camps on remote lakes until the escapees are caught.
Upstate New York is anything but peaceful and quiet these days. I’m praying that the police soon apprehend the convicts so that my family and other folks in that region can enjoy the little bit of summer they get for two months every year.