Washington, D.C.  - Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has released the below statement following Governor Cuomo’s decision to close the Watertown Correctional Facility and the Clinton Annex:

“In his latest misguided attempt to weaken our law enforcement and make New York less safe, Governor Cuomo is pulling the rug out from our correction officers, their families, and our North Country communities after an already challenging year,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “First, the Governor passed harmful bail reform laws that released violent criminals back onto the streets causing the crime rates across our state to skyrocket. Instead of listening to our corrections officers and law enforcement leaders, Governor Cuomo has repeatedly ignored their concerns regarding the spread of COVID through our prisons and only relented after widespread bipartisan outcry. Now, he is taking it a step further in deciding to permanently close these two critical facilities that have the capacity to distance prisoners and staff and lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure. I am deeply opposed to the Governor’s proposed closures. Our brave correction officers are an essential part of our Upstate law enforcement community. The timing of this announcement could not be worse right before the holidays and as crime rates in the state are on the rise and COVID-19 continues to spread throughout our prisons. Our correction officers have risked their health and personal safety throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I am now calling on the Governor to immediately reverse this action and keep our corrections officers, their families, and our communities safe by keeping these essential facilities open.”