About Tim Rowland

Tim Rowland is a columnist, author and outdoors writer living in Jay.

Reader Interactions


  1. Bill Keller says

    “Only $17 million would be saved” said Dan Stec. No, Dan the 6 prisons closing will save the taxpayers $142 million. Typical politician who thinks their job is to collect as much taxes as possible. Prison population declines to less than half of what it was in 1999 it’s time to close this prison. It doesn’t mean that the lessons learned here at the shock unit can’t be applied elsewhere.

    • Worth Gretter says

      No, it is $17 million, not $142 million because we are only talking about this one prison. And as the article points out, it’s less than $17 million when you account for all the free labor that state gets. So why re-create this model elsewhere when it works so well here? And here in the Adirondacks is where the state needs the labor.

      Anyone who wants to see the inmates at work outside the prison, AND life inside the prison, should watch the movie “Ice Palace, a Love Letter”. It is a love letter to the city of Saranac Lake, but it spends a lot of time on the inmates. Personally, I think the inmates love these work projects because it gives them some autonomy. They are told to cut ice or stack blocks but no-one is standing over them telling them do this, do that. Inside the prison there is no autonomy of course, it is a boot camp, and that is the point.

  2. Vanessa B says

    Woooow I dislike this article for so many reasons. What an unpleasant surprise from a publication for which I have some decent expectations. I’m a little short of calling this police state propaganda, not journalism, but really not by as much as I’d like for a publication I have given money and time to…:(:(

    The Explorer really needs to do some soul searching about reporting that veers into current event-type topics. I say this as a subscriber and avid reader. This topic has nothing at all to do with ecological issues or the environment, with the narrow exception of a tangential relation to prison labor providing trail maintenance, which isn’t really about the trails…(just this once, let’s sail past that ship entirely)…

    The punchline: if you guys want to go here, fine, but if you go here you really gotta improve the framing and perspectives offered on articles on controversial topics so that you’re not just doing stenography for institutional powers. Hec, last month you spent a LOT more time exploring in-depth the controversy surrounding the ADK Wildlife Refuge, with MUCH better reporting, than you have on an issue that arguably affects peoples’ lives SO MUCH more (apologies to all involved re the Wildlife Refuge discussion – that topic has it’s place and is important.)

    Importantly, I am not disputing (most of) the facts noted, but I am *strongly disputing the framing. For example – the first paragraph implies that the sentiment expressed in this article is felt by all inmates, instead of a group that signed a letter. Quotes from “union representatives,” (which union? not even explicitly stated!) who are not objective parties to this discussion, are presented without context or verification. Every single person interviewed or quoted agrees with the framing of the article – so we are lead to assume that there are absolutely 0 people out there in the communities in question who disagree with any opinion presented here. If that’s true, why? What are the background and facts surrounding this sentiment? What are the motives of the people making these statements?

    Finally, there are are also some straight-up personal opinions of the author presented as journalism. I may not disagree that, for example, being a prison officer is challenging, or that many inmates find participating in community service better for their lives than sitting in a cell – BUT when you’re mentioning those ideas in the context of reporting on a political issue and on people with political goals, as the AUTHOR of a journalism piece…welp, that is bias that the Explorer should own to having.

    If I want to hear the perspective of police, prison officers and hand-selected inmates WITHOUT any other context or alternative perspectives (this part is critical) …I know (we all know, frankly) which news channels I would turn to. Does the Explorer want to be in the same league as those channels or forums? Are you really invested in keeping this publication independent and focused on ecological/environmentalist issues – which is what is emphasized so strongly on all of your fundraising emails?

    ….anyway, probably the harshest comment I’ve posted here. 🙁 Bummer, for real, and further – I KNOW there is a big push in many institutions in the region to be more “community-centric.” …but this ain’t the way to do it, by explicitly picking a side in a highly politicized discussion and uncritically printing what is essentially more of an op-ed than a journalism piece. 🙁

  3. Joan Grabe says

    My nephew was an inmate at Moriah Shock in 1995/96 and it was very enlightening to visit him there after visiting him at the state prison in Middletown. I thought Moriah was a perfect place to serve out a sentence for a 20 year old with a first offense, albeit, a serious one. When he was released he resumed his life on Long Island, found employment, eventually married and has 2 teenage sons now. He always was the nicest kid, a real family favorite and until I read the article about closing Moriah Shock the family had forgotten about him ever being in the system. Hopefully a Moriah Shock like program still exists in the NYState Dept. of Corrections as my nephew cannot be the only successful adult to profit from such an experience and we need enlightened programs such as Moriah, especially when you read about the horrible conditions on Rikers Island or the Manhattan House of Detention. I hope Gov. Hochul changes her mind and keeps Moriah open. Someone else’s nephew might also find it transformational.

  4. Tom Barber says

    Sooo…. What is the difference between this prison and the chain gangs used for cheap labor in other parts of the country, besides the chains?

  5. Mary says

    No your nephew is not the only success story to graduate from Moriah Shock. The program was a far stretch from the county jails that he had been in. I am saddened to hear that this institution is designated to be closed. I really thought we had lost my nephew to drugs until he entered Moriah Shock. I too visited as often as i could until Covid hit but i can tell you at each visit i saw my nephew growing stronger due to the support system he received inside Moriah Shock. Closing this facility is a loss to our community and to the young men who truly desire to do better. More institutions should incorporate Moriah Shocks program. I am very disappointed to hear this is closing – so many others could benefit from this program.

  6. Judy Pliquett says

    this comment might be a bit late, but I just read the article and am very sorry that this prison which has been a game-changer for so many young men, is to be closed. Has anyone initiated a petition to the governor? If so, I’d be happy to sign it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like what you're reading?

Join the community of people powering our rigorous, nonprofit Adirondack journalism with a donation.

Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox