Statement from Assemblyman Mark Walczyk

"I’m going to state an obvious fact: St. Lawrence and Jefferson Counties are home to some of the bravest corrections officers you’ll find anywhere.  The Governor’s decision to close the Watertown Correctional Facility is an incredibly poor decision, especially this close to the Christmas Holiday.  No person who literally risks their life to protect New Yorkers should have this news handed down to them by someone running state government by fiat.  

During this time when the state’s economy is hanging by a thread, instead of applying some common sense by cutting spending and government programs, one person, who thrust this power onto himself, has made the decision to put countless people out of work and even more criminals back on the streets.  The Governor alone made this decision.

The Watertown Correctional Facility is one of the more efficient and modern in the state’s system.  If the Governor really wants to downsize, he should be looking downstate.  Those facilities have more real estate value and cost way more to operate.

After just being named to the Assembly’s Corrections Committee, I’ll stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our brave North Country COs and other elected officials to push back against this shortsighted decision.  Governor Cuomo just gave North Country families a lump of coal.  He should be ashamed.