Adirondack Correctional Facility
196 Ray Brook Road
P.O. Box 110
Ray Brook, New York 12977-0110
(518) 891-1343 (Essex County)
The Adirondack Correctional Facility is a 700-man medium-security prison in Ray Brook, New York in the Adirondack Mountains between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid; it employs 311.
Adirondack Correctional Facility started as the Ray Brook Sanatorium, the first state-operated tuberculosis sanatorium, starting in 1904. Although medical developments made sanitoria obsolete starting in the mid-1950s, the State Sanatorium at Ray Brook continued to operate until the mid-1960s. The property was transferred from the Department of Health to the new Drug Addiction Control Commission, combining enforcement and treatment; in 1971 the new facility opened as the Ray Brook Rehabilitation Center, housing 70 to 130 female addicts. However, it was judged a failure, and closed within five years. It was succeeded by a camp program for adult inmates, "Camp Adirondack". Working with the Department of Environmental Conservation, "campmen", as inmates were known, were employed in logging, sawmill, wildlife preservation, construction of campsites and snowmobile and cross-country ski trails, and construction of a toboggan run at the Mount Pisgah ski area. The camp also constructed the Ice Palace each winter for the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival.
With the selection of Lake Placid for the 1980 Winter Olympics the inmates worked on the Olympic trails at Mount Van Hoevenburg. The camp facilities were used for Olympic staff housing, which led to renovation of the water treatment plant, sewage system, housing and food service areas. During the games, the inmates were relocated to other prison facilities in the state, and were replaced by 900 State Police and 300 U.S. Customs Bureau personnel, National Guard and security forces of foreign governments who provided security for the Games. An area of 200 acres (81 ha) of the facility was used as the site for the Olympic Village; after the games it became a new federal prison, the Federal Correctional Institution, Ray Brook.
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