Protesters gather in Dannemora as prison closure nears

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Just three days before Christmas workers from the Clinton Annex in Dannemora received the news that the facility would be closing. Today joined by the community they protested the decision

The facility which is adjacent to the maximum security prison has been slated by Governor Cuomo to close on March 30th of this year. This decision would reassign over 200 Correctional officers, sergeants, and lieutenants to other facilities. Former C-O and Assemblyman Billy Jones promised the crowd that he’s working for them. 

“We have to keep the jobs here in the north country keep Clinton Annex open and you have our word that we are going to everything we can to do that. 

Kassandra Charland, a local to Dannemora who attended the protest says hearing the news about the closure around the holidays was difficult for her family.

“Just downright awful to announce it before Christmas. Here we are spending some money you know not a lot we have at most, and now here we think what are we going to do next Christmas?”

Some local officials like Dannemora Town Supervisor Bill Chase provided some ideas for alternatives to closing the Annex. 

“The decisions that are being made for most of the facilities that are being run through the state all decisions have to go through Building Two, how much money would we save if we closed that place?”

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik travelled to the North Country for the rally, she mentions the importance of having a facility such as the Annex in the community is not just about the jobs. 

“I mean this is the economic driver here so many families are going to be impacted by this, they need to hear this.”

In addition to the Clinton Annex, the Gowanda and Watertown correctional facilities are also facing closures. 

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