Ogdensburg officials launch petition drive to head off potential prison closings

Ogdensburg officials launch petition drive to head off potential prison closings
(Source: MGN)

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - There’s a petition drive this weekend in an attempt to save Ogdensburg’s prisons from being closed.

The drive is being organized by Mayor Mike Skelly. It’s from noon to 5 p.m. at the Ogdensburg movie theater.

In the state budget that passed in early April, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was given the authority to close prisons, as long as he gave 90 days’ notice to the Assembly speaker and the Senate leader.

City leaders are concerned that closing either or both of the medium-security prisons there – Ogdensburg and Riverview correctional facilities – would be devastating to the local economy.

Officials say people showing up to sign the petition must wear masks and practice social distancing.

People are asked to bring their own pens. If they don’t have one, they’ll be given a pen they can take with them.

Without help from the federal government, the state faces a $61 billion shortfall.

Local officials fear the governor may try to close part of that gap by closing prisons.

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