Oswego County working to reduce jail overcrowding

Oswego county Jail

The Oswego County Legislature heard some encouraging news about jail overcrowding Monday afternoon.

Since March, lawmakers have been faced with approving a series of expenditures to pay for housing inmates at facilities in neighboring counties.

Oswego County Undersheriff Gene Sullivan tells CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that they've been able to significantly reduce the number of inmates being sent to outside facilities. Sullivan says the Sheriff's Department has been working with the courts and the Probation Department to find alternate ways to handle inmates through such programs as pre-trial release and home confinement.

Sullivan says the Oswego County Jail has a maximum capacity of 169 inmates.

Earlier in the year, he says the county was forced to transport as many as 80 inmates to jails in Madison, Oneida, Cayuga, Wayne, Seneca, Chemung and Ontario counties at a cost of $90 per day for each inmate. Sullivan says, "Now we're down to 12 inmates" in outside jails.

Sullivan appeared before a meeting of the Oswego County Legislature Monday afternoon to explain the progress they've made in recent months. Never the less, he requested an additional $250,000 to see the jail through the end of the year. So far, taxpayers have paid out an additional $1,350,000 to house inmates in neighboring counties.

At the same meeting, Oswego County Probation Director Deborah Meyer asked permission to seek out vendors of electronic monitoring devises. She explained that with the use of ankle bracelets and GPS software, authorities could keep track of a criminal's whereabouts at a cost of up to $9.00 per day as opposed to $90 to keep them in jail.

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