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News Release    

April 20, 2005      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Steinhaus Releases Jail Inmate Totals from Sheriff
Proves new Dutchess jail not needed - $133 million dollar cost cannot be defended

Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus today released statistics on inmate population totals in the Dutchess County jail, as provided by Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian “Butch” Anderson, that prove a new $133 million dollar Dutchess County jail paid for by local taxpayers is not needed and cannot be justified.

The 2004 summary (attached) from the Sheriff’s inmate totals shows a daily average of only 282 county inmates in the Dutchess Jail - clearly under the existing approved capacity of 286.

The County Executive said, "Clearly, overburdened Dutchess County taxpayers who already pay too much should not be forced to pay a huge property tax increase when the jail facility is large enough to hold the county’s inmates.”

"The characterization by some that the Dutchess County jail is overcrowded is a complete fabrication," said the Executive. “Any so-called ‘overcrowding’ is caused by state prisoners, from state prisons, that state officials are forcing the Sheriff to hold for them.  These are prisoners that state officials through state policies have dumped into the county jail," said Steinhaus.

The Executive noted that on average the state has forced the county to house and pay for an average of 48 state prisoners each day and as many as nearly 70 state criminals on some days.

Steinhaus said, "County officials all across the state have been forced to raise homeowners property taxes and divert money needed for important county services for the elderly, for public safety and children because we have to pay for the state criminals dumped in the county jail by the state.  I believe all those in leadership positions in Dutchess County must stand up for the taxpayers and fight to change this unacceptable situation."

It has been reported the state saved $120 million dollars by cutting state corrections officers payroll by emptying thousands of state criminals out of state prison cells.  Sadly for Dutchess property taxpayers, local state officials have dumped their state criminals into the Dutchess jail and reached into the wallet of Dutchess property taxpayers to pay Albany's bills.

The Executive stated, “The New York State Sheriff’s Association has the same complaint I have and I join them in their demands that the State remove state prisoners from county jails.” The Sheriff’s Association has reported there are 7,000 empty state prison beds throughout the state and further their Association has adopted a policy resolution to return them to state prisons.

As recently as January the NYS Sheriff’s Association wrote state lawmakers stating, “…Sheriffs think that these inmates belong in a state correctional facility.”

Again, unfortunately, Steinhaus said, “Our state lawmakers have taken no action.” 

He also noted officials from the State Correctional Officers union also support this position, having stated,  “We [state prisons] certainly have space available”.

The County's chief elected official said, "The statistics from the Sheriff’s office itself prove the jail is large enough to hold the county inmates but it's not big enough to hold the state’s prisoners as well.”

Steinhaus concluded, "Dutchess property taxpayers have waited long enough for our state representatives to stand up for them and get their state prisoners out of the Dutchess jail and back into state prison where they belong.”                                   

2004 Average Daily Population Dutchess County Jail

  Total Jail
Population
State Prisoners Total Less
State Prisoners
% Population
State Prisoners
 January   304                                35                                269  12%
 February  324                               43   281                              13%  
 March  310                             43                                267                              14% 
 April   316                               43                               273  14%
 May  318                               43  275                              14% 
 June  326                               43                               283                             13%
 July  327                              47                             280                              14%
 August  336  56  280  17%
 September  356  50  306  14%
 October  366  59  307  16%
 November  347  69  278  20%
 December  326  60  266  18%
 Total
  2004
 3,956  591  3,365  
 Average
    2004
 330  49  280  15%

                                                           



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Last Updated: 4/21/2005