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Protesters in Ogdensburg fight for the prison

Published: Nov. 20, 2021 at 7:07 PM EST
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - The float may have said it best at the “Light up the Night” parade. And the signs and crowd pounding down State Street.

“OCF! OCF! OCF! OCF!”

And corrections officers and their families at the rally after.

“OCF! OCF! OCF! OCF!”

The children of corrections officers all had the same message to send.

“I’m here to support Ogdensburg Correctional Facility. And I just hope that nothing happens. Because then my dad will have to go somewhere else and we want him close to home,” said Lillian Walsh, a corrections officer’s daughter.

Less than two weeks ago, the state handed Ogdensburg a big lump of coal. It announced Ogdensburg Correctional Facility would close.

268 people work there. Some have transferred there from other prisons that closed. Politicians at the rally made a direct plea to Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“I’m asking you tonight. Stop what’ going on! Take a minute to look at the actual list of reasons why you should keep the prison open,” said Senator Patty Ritchie.

“Now we just need some common sense in Albany, which is rare,” said Assemblyman Mark Walczyk.

The rally was an add-on to the “Light up the Night” parade. It’s Ogdensburg’s biggest holiday event. The mission corrections officers families were on made this year’s parade even more of a must-see, must-be-there event.

You could feel the energy when the group came down the street. And that continues, and they say its going to continue as long as they can try to keep this prison open.

On Nov. 8 the New York State Corrections Department said the closure of Ogdensburg and five other facilities would begin “immediately.” It said the process will be completed in March.

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