Lewis says sharing a jail is 'unrealistic'
May 08, 2018 8:30 am
[Daniel Zuckerman is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media](https://goo.gl/cii7vt) Greene County Legislature Chairman Kevin Lewis said in a statement May 4, that sharing a jail with Columbia County is unrealistic because it would require amending several state laws. Thirty-nine state laws must be amended to allow Greene County to share a facility with Columbia County, based on research, Lewis said in the letter. Some of the laws include County Law 217, which requires every county to maintain a jail; Corrections Law 120, which states it is a county sheriff’s duty to maintain custody and supervision of the incarcerated; and Executive Law 259-1(3)(b), which requires people taken into custody to be incarcerated in the county where they were arrested. A shared jail facility is a legal impracticality, Legislator Lee Palmateer, of Athens, said, adding that Lewis’ letter confirms that. Two laws, as opposed to the 39 Lewis listed in his letter, would need to be amended, Legislator Lori Torgersen of Windham said. Top criminal justice advisors to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other county sheriffs across the state expressed the belief that Greene and Columbia counties sharing a jail would be quick to accomplish. Legislator Michael Bulich of Catskill would like to see the legislature continue to look into the shared jail option and see the state Senate Bill S5538A pass, a measure that would allow two or more counties to enter into a contract for the provision of a county jail. “We are already, in the most primitive way, sharing a jail,” Bulich said. “The shared jail is the way to go for maximum savings for our taxpayers.” The Legislature Public Safety Committee passed a resolution May 2, authorizing the issuance of $51.4 million in serial bonds to finance the construction of a new county jail on a site near the Greene Correctional Facility in Coxsackie. The existing county jail in Catskill was closed April 20 by county officials citing safety concerns and will remain closed indefinitely. [Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com](https://goo.gl/cii7vt).