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St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility. Photo: Office of the Sheriff, St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility. Photo: Office of the Sheriff, St. Lawrence County

Proposal to un-crowd county jails waits in the Assembly

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Today is set to be the last day of New York's legislative session. Two bills in front of the Assembly, put forth by State Sen. Patty Ritchie, aim to ease overcrowding in our region's county jails. The bills would require the Department of Corrections to assume responsibility for men and women caught violating parole within ten days of receiving their violation warrant. Richie says too many of those men and women are instead held in county jails, at local taxpayers' expense.

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Reported by

Natasha Haverty
Reporter and Producer

"This is what’s supposed to be happening right now, the state has a responsibility to pick up these parole violators, and the longer the state can delay, the more cost savings for the state and the burden is now on to the local facilities in Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties."

Opponents of the measure argue people who violate parole should not necessarily be housed alongside people who have committed new felonies. According to Senator Ritchie, county jails outside of New York city are not currently reimbursed for housing what they label “state read-inmates.”

"So these two bills are a pretty common sense way to handle the situation, and we need the assembly to pick up and handle these two bills by the end of session."

That was State Senator Patty Ritchie, speaking about the two bills she’s put forward for an Assembly vote that would transfer men and women who’ve violated parole out of county jails and into state prisons in our area. Today is the last day of the legislative session.

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