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Sheriff Conway on claim that Onondaga Co. jail is among state's worst: 'I don't agree'

CNYCentral file photo

Onondaga County Sheriff Eugene Conway says a state watchdog's claim that the jail he oversees is among the worst in the state is one that he disagrees with.

"Let's just say I don't agree with it overall and you'll see why I don't agree here in the next few days," Conway said Thursday. The sheriff said he's crafting a more comprehensive response to the claims in the Commission of Correction's "Problematic Jails Report."

The report highlights five local jails as the worst in the state. The Onondaga County Justice Center and Penitentiary is one of them; the others are Rikers Island, which is run by New York City, the Greene County Jail in Catskill, the Buffalo area's Erie County Holding Center and Correctional Facility, and the Dutchess County Jail in Poughkeepsie.

The Commission of Correction's report claims the Onondaga County Justice Center and Penitentiary had a number of violations of commission regulations during reviews in 2016 and 2017 and claims the jail suffers from inmate overcrowding and staff deficiencies.

Onondaga County Sheriff Eugene Conway says he was caught off guard by a state watchdog's claim that the jail he oversees is among the worst in the state

"(I) didn't know it was coming, " Conway said. "(I'm) shocked by some of the allegations - and some of the information that's in there is old and we are well beyond some of those things that they claim has made us a worst offender."

The Commission of Correction's report was submitted to the governor and state legislature earlier this month. The chief counsel to the governor, Alphonso David, said the Cuomo administration will demand a quick resolution to what he called "systemic, unconscionable and illegal conditions."

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