Saland Announces Of Bill To Relieve Counties Of Need To Build Costly New Jails
Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie) today announced Senate passage of his bill, S.7949A, which requires the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections (DOCS) to enter into agreements to house local inmates when the State Commission on Corrections (SCOC) determines it necessary to alleviate overcrowding at local correctional facilities.
When DOCS made a recommendation to close four state correctional facilities including the Hudson Correctional Facility, it cited the need for downsizing. At the same time, a number of county correctional facilities across the State, including the Dutchess County Correctional Facility, are experiencing overcrowding issues. Several counties have been issued temporary waivers from SCOC allowing them to exceed their current inmate bed capacity while some county facilities have entered into agreements with other county facilities to temporarily ease overcrowding issues by transferring inmates. This bill would require DOCS to enter into agreements to house local inmates to ease overcrowding at local correctional facilities and prevent SCOC from mandating that a locality construct new facilities.
“Building a new jail is very costly, with construction estimates well in excess of $100 million, and county taxpayers are justifiably angry at such an expense at a time when property taxes are already such a heavy burden,” said Senator Saland. “In this time of severe budget deficits, the State is encouraging local governments to share services. Allowing the county to continue to transfer excess inmates to other facilities instead of building a new jail is a perfect example of how cost effective and fiscally prudent sharing services can be.”
Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian Anderson commented, “We appreciate everything our Senator does for us immensely. It is also a help to all of our constituents.”
The bill has been sent to the Assembly for consideration.