Ritchie Bill To Ease Jail Over-Crowding Passes In The Senate

State Senator Patty Ritchie’s bill to ease local county jail overcrowding, by requiring the state to move more quickly when picking up its inmates and placing them back in state prisons, was approved by the Senate Tuesday.

The measure, S.5498A, amends the correction law, to give the Department of Correctional Services just 10 days to transport parole violators from county jails to state facilities.  Currently, nearly a thousand state parole violators are in county jails for extended periods of time—all at a cost to taxpayers.

“In prisons in both Central and Northern New York, state parole violators are contributing to jail overcrowding,” said Senator Ritchie. “That’s forcing some leaders to call for expansions, while at the same time the state is looking to downsize empty prisons. This just doesn’t make sense.  This legislation will ensure that local taxpayers aren’t footing the bill to house, feed and guard state prisoners for longer than they should have to.”

Under Senator Ritchie’s bill, the state would have to reimburse counties for the cost of any state inmate that is left in a county jail beyond the 10-day period.

The bill, which is strongly supported by sheriff’s departments in Central and Northern New York, was delivered to the Assembly.