Bill allows jails to host out-of-state inmates

Sen. Patrick Gallivan, R-Elma, has announced the Senate passage of a bill that would extend a law allowing county jails to board inmates from neighboring states.

The bill (S.6954/A.9642) would extend a law that allows counties to fill empty prison beds with prisoners from neighboring states to help offset the cost of running their jails. The legislation gives counties the option of entering into contracts to house certain inmates from other correctional systems.

The original bill was passed in 2011 and is set to expire on September 1 of this year. If passed the bill would extend the law until 2017.

"As the former sheriff of Erie County, I know all too well the enormous cost of operating a jail. Local counties should have the flexibility to bring inmates from other states to fill their vacant cells," Gallivan said. "This bill will give counties revenue opportunity, allowing them to charge other states to house their inmates."

The bill has been referred to the Assembly where it is sponsored by Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, D-Manhattan, the chair of the Corrections Committee.