Letter to NYS Division of Parole
November 24, 2004
Anthony G. Ellis, II
Recently Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian Anderson has requested the support and approval of the Dutchess County Legislature and the County Executive for a major jail expansion in Dutchess County which according to the Sheriff’s proposal was expected to cost county government a startling $45 to $50 million. Thereafter, the New York State Corrections Commission advised Dutchess County we would be required by the State to build a larger and more expensive facility that may cost $70 million or more (including interest it will exceed $133 million). This is simply for the construction costs. Additionally, it is expected much higher operating costs for a larger facility including staffing will reach multiple millions of dollars annually. These are costs that would send shock waves through other County departments, services and programs in County government and create serious damage, as dollars would be siphoned from precious existing county programs. Dramatically sharp increases in property taxes for Dutchess County homeowners will also result.
I am extremely concerned the policies, practices and procedures of the New York State Division of Parole are a major contributing factor to the number of “bed days” and total inmate population at the Dutchess County Jail. This is creating undue pressures on the Dutchess County Jail and a major contributing factor to tens of millions of dollars of potential future cost burden on the taxpayers of Dutchess County.
The policies and practices of the State by violating parolees that are your custodial responsibility continues to drive up our inmate population and place extraordinary additional costs on the Dutchess County budget that County government and local property taxpayers are unable to sustain.
I am writing to request an immediate and comprehensive review by you of your practices and procedures. Specifically, I am concerned the State of New York is using the Dutchess County Jail and our rapidly depleted County government checkbook as a means of managing a State parole population that is in fact the State’s responsibility. Our records indicate certain individuals have repeated violations filed against them by you and your staff and are placed in the Dutchess County Jail for extended stays at our cost. We believe local taxpayers and county officials funding the overhead for you to manage your State parole population is an abdication by the State of its own responsibility and an intentional shifting of costs from the State to the County.
I look forward to learning from you at the earliest possible date steps to be taken by you and the State Division of Parole to take responsibility for your parole population occupying cells in the Dutchess County Jail.