News Release

 

 

For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000
countyexec@co.dutchess.ny.us

For Immediate Release

June 17, 1999

 

REIMBURSEMENT FOR HOUSING STATE READY INMATES


For many years counties have been required to house state prisoners in county jails because the state did not have sufficient jail capacity. While the state did pay the counties for this service, the payments were far less than the actual costs incurred by the counties. Some counties sued the state successfully for full reimbursement. Most counties, however, sought to negotiate reimbursement through the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC).

NYSAC has been negotiating on behalf of counties and is nearing an agreement that, hopefully, would be approved as part of the state's (fiscal year) 1999/2000 budget. The bottom line of the agreement is that Dutchess County would receive approximately one million dollars in settlement of all claims through 1994 and the state would increase the future per them rate to be paid to counties.

This is an issue I have been very involved with over the recent years as a member of the New York State Association of Counties Board of Directors. I agree with NYSAC that prolonged litigation on this issue should be avoided and that a state-wide settlement and a prospective rate adjustment is the best course of action. I've sent a letter to that effect to Bob Gregory, the Executive Director of NYSAC. In that letter I also urged Mr. Gregory to conduct the negotiations in the context of the need for the state to increase its jail capacity. Key to Dutchess and other counties is to free-up cells to house local prisoners so the costly alternatives of housing prisoners outside our borders or adding new cells can be avoided.

As I've stated before, Dutchess County doesn't have a jail population overcrowding problem, rather New York State has an inmate overcrowding problem in our Dutchess County jail. The only real solution to this ongoing problem is that New York State build added prison capacity.

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