Mid-Orange Correctional Facility Ordered Closed

On June 30, 2011 Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility would be closed as part of the state’s reorganization of New York’s prisons.

This facility has been an institution dedicated to the purpose of justice, healthcare, and reform for 99 years. It was founded as one of the country’s first treatment centers for alcoholism in 1912, the New York City Farm. Later it became a reform school, the New York State Training School for boys and then the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility.

There are many stories associated with those who resided on and worked within this campus; please share yours.

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5 Responses to Mid-Orange Correctional Facility Ordered Closed

  1. Joe Stanaitis says:

    I was raised in a Catholic home for boys during the late 40s early 50s. discipline methods were quite harsh but one thing I remember. The Sisters told us as part of our introduction to life in an orphanage was if you boys cannot follow the rules here, we will be forced to send you to the State school in Warwick, New York. Just knowing how tough the monitors and Sisters were there, the thought of being sent someplace worse was a powerful deterrent against being non cooperative.. Ironically, when our place closed in the mid 70s, many of its boys were sent to the Pius School in Chester and High school in Warwick. Also ironically,. I moved my family to Warwick in 1971 and was told by people in Warwick that life at the state school was not as harsh as we boys had been led to believe.

  2. Michael A. Bruno says:

    My experience at W.S.T.S.F.B. was incredulous. I was enclosed in a ghetto world bubble and my stay in this so called “reform” program allowed me a free pass to learn who I was in terms of being a societal humanitarian person. Basically, my visit to WSTSFB was to learn how to take care of myself socially, pschologically, physically and to focus attention on my education. I learned to communicate with social workers “cottage parents” who opened up the world of “you can do it” and “hope”. After a long trip with a “Boys Scout” program across America, visiting Universities and ending in Kit Carson Scout ranch in New Mexico. I came “home” or WSTSFB and desperately wanted to prove to myself that the world of success was waiting for me and that I could make a positive influence on other people and keep them from my experience. (incarceration) Successful in high school as track and field athlete,I went on to graduate from Brooklyn College with a B.A. and starting teaching in the Brooklyn Bushwick community 1972. I went on to acquire a MA from City College (1976) and a MS from TC. Columbia (1981). In 2002, I retired from the NYC school system as a supervisor. It has been a wonderful ride and I could not have accomplished this success without the inspiration, hope and respect that was instilled in me at WSTSFB. Presently, I teach at Mercy College and at St. John’s University. My mission is to get my PH.D. I have never given up hope!

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Mr. Bruno! Inspiring! Anything further you’d like to contribute– specifics on how the day was organized, stories, memories of specific instructors, etc., would be most welcome– whether on this site or for adding to the archive of the library and/or local historical society. You can contact me directly at warwickhistory@gmail.com Sue Gardner, (site author)

  3. My name is Victor Rivera. I was born in Puerto Rico. My mother came with me to New York in 1949. I was 9 months old. We moved around a lot in the South Bronx, I always seemed to get into trouble. Most of my childhood memories are just picture postcards, except for the time I was sent to Warkwick T.S.F.B., I think it was between 1960-65. I remember my cottage parents, don’t recall their names, but they were a nice older Irish couple. I remember we ate chicken on Sundays. I remember putting the bread in the bread box in the mornings and covering it with a damp towels so it wouldn’t dry up. milk was delivered in an aluminum container. I remember sliding down a snowy slope in the winter, catching frogs with my bare hands by hypnotizing them with a swirling hand motion. i had a friend, a geeky frail boy with blond hair that always hung over his eye and he had sunken eyes. He was real smart, we would go looking for fossils and found some nice ones. We cracked a big boulder once and found a piece of black onyx in it. I am grateful for the fond memories i gathered there. they are my treasures of today. I wish i could once again meet my geeky friend and hold the interesting conversations we once had as we planned our next adventure. it was a magical time for me. When we marched down the walks, we would sing cadences “Like peg leg pete, we drag our feet,” as we dragged our left foot in unison. Oh yeah, I played a mean game of pool on those now antique pool tables with the leather pockets. I’m a herbalist now, doing my best to ease the pain and suffering in the world, one person at a time.
    Victor

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