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Shared jail conversation continues

Dec 08, 2017 7:45 am

Daniel Zuckerman is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media officials in Columbia and Greene counties continue to entertain the possibility of sharing a jail facility. That subject was the focus of a discussion during a meeting of the Greene County Legislature Public Safety Committee meeting on December 6. Committee chairman William Lawrence said if the decision is made to consolidate, Greene County would close its existing jail in Catskill and those in custody would be transported to the Columbia County Jail, located in Greenport. Only the Greene County Sheriff's office would remain open. For court dates, people would have to be transported to Greene County and back. Greene County corrections officers would serve as the drivers. Because the existing Columbia County facility does not have the capacity to house additional people, a new addition would have to constructed at the cost of roughly $10 million. Greene County would foot most of the bill, at $8 million, and Columbia would contribute $2 million. Legislator Pat Linger said the shared jail proposal is good enough, but pointed out that a joint facility runs contrary to state law that requires each county to operate its own jail. A shared jail would require a change in state law, Linger said. “I don’t think the idea of a shared jail is feasible, financially or realistically,” Greene County Jail Superintendent Michael Spitz said. Officials from both counties are scheduled to meet again on December 20 to discuss the shared jail proposal. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.

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