Blankenbush Reacts To Gov. Hochul’s Prison Redevelopment Commission

Statement by Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C,I-Black River)

“Yesterday, Gov. Hochul announced the launch of the ‘Prison Redevelopment Commission’ which is tasked with finding innovative ways to redevelop and repurpose closed facilities. The commission is consisted of a 15-member panel, with one big problem. Not a single member on the commission is from the North Country.

“How is the commission going to do right by North Country residents if we do not even have a voice at the table? The governor has shown a callous disregard for our area’s correctional facilities and employees through her 90-day prison closures—an extension of a misguided policy from her predecessor.

“We have just recently seen facilities closed at Watertown and Ogdensburg, which displaced hundreds of correctional officers and their families. Closures in 90 days are a disservice to law enforcement, their families, the local economy and even inmates who are transferred to over-packed and dangerous facilities.

“Before the commission proceeds any further, I am calling on the governor to add a North Country representative to the panel, immediately.”