Several states are trying to save money by shutting down prisons. This may mean consolidating inmates into fewer facilities, but it's also the case that crime rates have dropped over the past couple of decades, and there's a movement away from prison sentences for low-level, nonviolent drug offenses. But a Stateline.org story on the trend points out that some cities and towns aren't happy to lose a source of cheap labor:
Here in New York, work crews from the Sullivan Annex have stocked trout in local rivers, shoveled around fire hydrants after snowstorms, worked at a nearby food bank and cleaned up campgrounds, said Dahlman, the prison officer. Now that the state has announced it is closing the prison, he said, crews are accepting fewer requests from churches and other community groups in case they won’t be able to finish the jobs.
Look on the bright side: If parks go untended, perhaps the "broken windows" theory will kick in and crime rates will shoot upward, thereby justifying the reopening of the prisons and restoring the means to clean up parks without taxing the citizens who enjoy them.