New York News: March 24, 2012

Redistricting – Assemblyman Bob Oaks speaks to a colleague during a recent session in Albany. Oaks has worked as a member of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment that recommended new lines for Senate and Assembly districts to reflect the 2010 Census.

by Andrew Henderson

A bill that would help Oswego County and its inmate crunch at the Oswego County Correctional Facility has been approved by a key Senate committee this week, said state Senator Patty Ritchie.

The New York State Senate’s Crime and Corrections Committee approved the bill, S.5498, which would require payment to the counties for any state inmates who are held in a county jail beyond 10 days.

“Taxpayers in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties are being forced to foot the bill for inmates who are being held in county jails, but who really belong in state lock-ups,” Ritchie said.

“Besides leading to overcrowding, it forces our local sheriffs to house inmates in facilities in other parts of the state, and increases costs for transportation and security, and these inmates shouldn’t be the counties’ responsibility,” Ritchie added.

The Oswego County Legislature recently had to authorize an extra $200,000 payment for inmates housed in other counties because Oswego’s 159-bed jail is filled to capacity. Many of those inmates are parolees who are awaiting transfer to state prisons.

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