Support for keeping Ogdensburg prison grows, says legislator
BY JIMMY LAWTON
North Country This Week
St. Lawrence County Legislator James Reagen, R-Ogdensburg, says support to keep Ogdensburg Correctional Facility open is growing.
Reagen said hundreds rallied in Ogdensburg recently to convince Gov. Kathy Hochol to take OCF off the list of prisons scheduled for closure.He said more than 5,000 people have also signed a petition declaring the same.
Reagen said that while Albany is aware of the community’s effort, it’s not going to be an easy battle.
“We have been getting incredible support from people in all walks of life,” he said. “But it’s an up hill battle and there are no guarantees.”
Reagen said the support has come from inmates who have written to the governor to say that of all the prisons they have been to, OCF is the safest place they have done time.
Reagen added that statistics show that to be true for inmates as well as corrections officers.
He said Ogdensburg has a strong case to be made.
Reagen was critical of the decision making process that put OCF on the chopping block, which he said seemed like a rush to judgement that included little interest in looking at the facts.
The community has pointed out that the economic impact to the area will be substantial as the Department of Corrections is one of the county’s largest employers.
Ogdensburg Correctional Facility, Downstate Correctional, Southport Correctional, Rochester Correctional, Willard Drug Treatment Campus and Moriah Shock Incarceration are all slated for closure on March 10, 2022.
OCF is a medium security institution that has a current staff of 268, with 158 incarcerated individuals and a capacity of 557.