Congressman Lee Zeldin Joins Senator Patty Ritchie and other Electeds and Stakeholders to Discuss Closure of Ogdensburg Prison and the Future of the Site and Employees

Details 10 Policy Proposals, Tours Ogdensburg Correctional Facility and Meets with Affected Staff

NEW YORK – On Saturday, January 22, 2022, Congressman Lee Zeldin, who has been named the presumptive nominee for Governor of New York by both the New York Republican and Conservative Parties, joined New York State Senator Patty Ritchie and other elected officials and stakeholders in Ogdensburg to discuss the closure of Ogdensburg Correctional Facility, the future of the site and those employed there.

Following the press conference, Congressman Zeldin toured the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility and spoke to staff affected by the closures.

Congressman Zeldin said, “If Governor Kathy Hochul had the guts to come up to Ogdensburg and hear directly from the constituents she’s affected, she would have heard from local residents passionate about the lifeblood of their economy being ripped away from them. She would have heard from amazing corrections officers who love working at Ogdensburg Correctional Facility, are proud they have one of the lowest rates of use of force and unusual incidents in the entire state, and are extremely disappointed that it is all ending this way.

“Every New Yorker has the right to feel like their voice is being represented in Albany, and for too long the North Country’s priorities have been sidelined for New York City’s. As Governor, I will do what Kathy Hochul won’t. I will listen to and fight for the North Country residents the Governor is supposed to represent.”

During the visit, Congressman Zeldin discussed the positions he’d advocate for to improve the lives of Corrections Officers and those incarcerated in facilities around the state. Among many other solutions Congressman Zeldin has been offering to address this issue, he detailed his support of the following ten policy positions during his remarks:
  • Increasing the budget for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to hire more correctional officers and improve the ratio to inmates;
  • Appointing a Commissioner who will put correctional officers, employees, visitors, and volunteers before inmates;
  • Repealing the HALT Solitary Confinement Act;
  • Commissioning a violence study in New York State prisons that would also identify additional recommended improvements;
  • Setting prison populations based on crimes committed instead of political calculations;
  • Repealing Cashless Bail and the Less is More Act;
  • Overhauling the Board of Parole as detailed in Congressman Zeldin’s rebuttal to Hochul’s State of the State address;
  • Opposing the Defund the Police Movement;
  • Repurposing closed facilities rather than just leaving them abandoned, unused and deteriorating; and
  • Providing economic assistance to communities affected by closures.


About Lee Zeldin
Lee Zeldin was born and raised on Long Island. He grew up in Suffolk County and graduated from William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, where his identical twin daughters attend school today. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany and then his law degree from Albany Law School, becoming New York’s youngest attorney at the time at the age of 23.
Lee spent four years on Active Duty with the U.S. Army after completing ROTC and served in different capacities, including as a Military Intelligence Officer, Prosecutor, and Military Magistrate. In the summer of 2006, while assigned to the Army’s elite 82nd Airborne Division, Lee deployed to Iraq with an infantry battalion of fellow paratroopers in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2007, Lee returned to Suffolk County with his family. It was at this time that Lee transitioned from Active Duty to the Army Reserve, where he currently serves with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
In 2008, Lee established a successful law practice in Smithtown, NY. Elected to the New York State Senate two years later, in 2010, Lee’s been working hard every day since to keep the promises he made to the hard-working families he represents.
In the State Senate, Lee successfully fought to repeal the MTA Payroll Tax for 80 percent of employers, a job killing tax that was hurting small businesses. Lee led the successful efforts to repeal the Saltwater Fishing License Fee and create the PFC Joseph Dwyer Program, a statewide program in New York to help our returning veterans cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Lee also wrote the law that protects our fallen veterans and their families from protests at military burials. 
Lee was then elected to the United States Congress in 2014, representing New York’s First Congressional District, and quickly became a leading voice in America on top local, domestic and foreign policy issues.
Lee has secured many key victories for Long Island, which have included among many other successes:
Saving Plum Island, by securing the repeal of a 2008 federal law requiring the island to be sold off to the highest bidder. He also secured funding to repair the historic Plum Island Lighthouse and funding necessary to remediate environmental concerns on the island. 
  • Delivering a $2 billion Electron Ion Collider project to Brookhaven National Lab.
  • Securing $8.3 billion in much needed funding to support treatment, enforcement, and prevention for those affected by the heroin and opioid abuse crisis.
  • Working with the Army Corps of Engineers to protect our coastlines, advancing the ambitious $1.5 billion Fire Island to Montauk Point project, in addition to several other vital projects on the north and south shores of Long Island.
  • Co-Chairing the Long Island Sound Caucus and delivering vast quantities of funding for the Long Island Sound Program, National Estuary Program and SeaGrant.
  • Introducing and passing into law his Adult Day Health Care legislation for disabled veterans and opening a new health care clinic for East End veterans.
  • Co-authoring a bipartisan resolution (H.Res. 246) that passed the House opposing the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.
  • Successfully resolving over 17,000 constituent cases in favor of NY-1 residents.
One of only two Jewish Republicans in Congress, Lee co-chairs the House Republican Israel Caucus, and serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Financial Services Committee. He also serves on four House Subcommittees.
Lee and his wife, Diana, reside in Shirley with their twin fifteen-year old daughters, Mikayla and Arianna.