Sheriff Outlines Plan For Solving Jail Overcrowding
Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns is opening the door to a new idea to ease overcrowding at the county jail.
At a county General Services Committee meeting Tuesday night, he suggested building a temporary facility.
The good news is, it could be done quickly.
"The company would be able to come in and set this up within 45 days," Burns said.
The bad news is, it's not cheap. The building would be good for about 15 years and cost $7.7 million.
It's fast," Burns said. "It's not cheap and it's only guaranteed for 15 years."
Burns says something needs to be done. On average, the county has to send about 33 inmates to other facilities across the state because the jail is too full.
That costs more than a $1 million a year.
"It's fatigue on the officers, it's transportation costs, the vehicles are just - I mean, we're on the road everyday."
Committee chairman Phil Reed says before the county builds anything, it needs to look into working with the state to house extra inmates.
"We should absolutely be talking with state officials and demanding that we look at excess space that they have to help us out," Reed said.
Burns says more than anything he'd like to see the county build a permanent addition to the jail, but he says a temporary structure would provide the relief the county jail badly needs.
Friday, May 24, 2013, Watertown, NY
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