State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced more than 6,200 people have signed her petition in support of protecting North Country prisons from potential closure. She is now encouraging those who have not yet signed, to do so. Senator Ritchie seeks to gather more than 10,000 signatures, in total, to show the region’s strong support for local correctional facilities and their employees.
Last month, in amendments to his Executive Budget proposal, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his plan to close up to three New York State prisons by September 1st. If the proposal is approved as part of the new state budget, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision would review operations at facilities statewide and select up to three for closure.
Following his proposal, Senator Ritchie joined with Assemblymen Ken Blankenbush and Mark Walczyk in launching a petition—“Protect Our Prisons”—that has allowed people to show their support for the region’s five local correctional facilities. The group is continuing to collect signatures, with a goal of reaching more than 10,000 in an effort to demonstrate to the Governor that the North Country wants—and needs—the local facilities.
“Our prisons are critical to the communities they reside in and the North Country as a whole,” said Senator Patty Ritchie. “Not only do they play a vital role in the safety of our state, they also support thousands of local jobs that our region cannot afford to lose.”
“I am encouraging people who have not yet signed the petition to do so. We can’t afford to not let the Governor know that we support our prisons and those who work every day to make them the safest and most efficient in the state.”
Senator Ritchie maintains instead of closing prisons, the state should look to end the practice of double bunking inmates in one cell, which creates an atmosphere that can become dangerous to not only inmates, but also correctional officers and staff members.
Those interested in signing the petition opposing the closure of North Country prisons can do so by clicking here.