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Audio Feature: Oct. 5 Greene County Jail report

Oct 06, 2017 12:45 am
Greene County Office Building

411 Main St.

Click here to download or play the Greene County Jail report. The Greene County Legislature's Public Safety Committee's Alternatives to Incarceration Sub-committee report was released in Catskill at the Greene County legislature chambers Oct. 5. WGXC's Jess Puglisi livestreamed the first hour of the event, and recorded the rest. The final recording is posted here. The committee presented a detailed analysis of jail populations past, present, and possibly future, and compared it to the numbers that led to the Ricci Greene proposal. Basically, arrests, crime, and population are all down, and so making a jail larger than the one that exists now seems unnecessary. Based on their findings, they suggested three possible plans: the Coxsackie option (roughly $40 million), the Catskill option (roughly $34 million), and then a shared services arrangement with the Columbia County jail, which would mean a $500,000 expenditure to demolish the old jail. People seemed cautiously interested in this plan, and no one on the legislature or from the public spoke against it during the question and answer period. Notes below. The full presentation will be online.
Bill Lawrence introduction 0:00 - :58
Lori Torgersen into and welcome. :58 - 4:00
4:00 LT Background of jail
5:00 Preliminary proposal to build a new jail and prison
6:40 Establishment of the ATI committee + member introductions
9:15 Committee mandate: How big should jail be? How can it be made most cost-effectively? How can the population be reduced in the future?
13:30 Recidivism
14:45 County population - flat
15:30 At-risk population - flat + reported crime - flat
16:50 Arrests - flat + declining
17:30 Admissions to jail - declining
18:30 Average daily jail population - declining
20:00 Ricci Greene 2015 predictions saw uptick, but actual data from 2015 - 2017 contradicts this.
23:00 Some reasons for decline in jail population
26:15 Recommendation is to open with 66 beds expandable to 78 if necessary. (Ricci Greene was for 148 beds.)
31:18 Jail size discrepancy between Ricci Greene and committee
34:15 Coxsackie option - 22.5% savings over original proposal - budget explained
37:00 Advantages and disadvantages (including transportation to court + services)
38:00 Catskill option - 3 story jail / renovation - $34 million - disadvantages include rehousing during construction but still makes it less expensive
44:50 Greene-Columbia shared services option - board inmates in Columbia and knock down Catskill jail
47:00 Current jail budget is $5.6 million - $337 per inmate per day. Joint operation with Columbia County could bring it down to $1.6 million per year
50:30 Capital cost comparision
54:30 Who is in jail?
56:00 Heroin statistics - Greene county has 3rd highest rate of overdoses in NYS
57:30 ATI - how to break cycle
1:00:00 Stablizing the jail population
1:07:30 Pre-trial jail population is growing - this should be addressed
1:19:30 LORI TORGERSEN: Wrap-up
How big: 78 beds should be sufficient.
Cost-effective: Coxsackie vs. Catskill vs. shared services
Sustain reduced population: redivert energies towards ATI / services
1:22:15 AUDIENCE QUESTIONS (until end)
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