Officials, employees rally against closure of Watertown Correctional Facility

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Local residents and politicians gathered to rally against the closure of the Watertown Correction Facility on the first Monday of the year.

The decision to close the facility was announced in late December 2020 by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, when Watertown was decided to be one of three in the state to close in March of 2021. 

The Correctional Facility currently employs 400 individuals, many who expect to be displaced.

Dwayne St. Louis, a Correctional Officer who retired from the Watertown Facility three years ago shared, that this will not only take jobs away from residents, it also has the ability to displace them from their families.

Additional topics of concern at the rally were the New York State bail reform, water management and crime rates in the North Country. 

Local politicians including Senator Patricia Ritchie, Assemblyman Mark Walczyk, Jefferson County Chairman Scott Gray and Watertown Mayor Jeff Smith also voiced their opposition.

The Watertown Correctional Facility is expected to close in March of 2021 alongside of two others in New York State. 

For full interviews form the rally on January 4, 2021, click the video in the player.

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