Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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Dutchess County Jail is one of the most “problematic” local jails in state

Current jail will be replaced new facilities

ALBANY – A just-released report by the State Commission on Correction found that the Dutchess County Jail in Poughkeepsie is one of the “worst offenders” of all local correctional facilities in New York.

County Executive Marcus Molinaro said Wednesday that is nothing new to him; it is “inefficient, inadequate and in many ways inhumane,” he said noting he has maintained that since he was elected.

“We have engaged in sweeping effort to not only replace the county jail with a modern, more effective transition center, but we have implemented significant criminal justice reforms meant to assist people in the system, to ensure that they have the support necessary to transition back into the community, we have expanded our alternatives to incarceration and we have invested a great deal of resources in preventative care and intervention,” he said.

The new jail expansion project is expected to be completed in 2023.

The state report noted the jail has been overcrowded for years costing the county $6 million a year to house inmates at other county jails. Four years ago, the commission approved the installation of four temporary modular housing units to house most of those inmates.

The report was also critical of the mental and mental health care provided to two inmates who committed suicide by hanging in the jail – one in 2011 and the other in 2014.

The commission blasted the company the county had hired to provide health care to inmates, Correctional Medical Care, Inc. Following an investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office, the company, which had contracts with five county jails in the state during which there were six inmate suicides, agreed to restructure, pay for an independent contract monitor, and pay amounts of restitution and penalties.

The state report was also critical of educational services for youth incarcerated at the jail and found several policies and procedure violations with many policies found to be outdated and not in compliance with state minimum standards.

During the period of January 1, 2016 through December 26, 2017, a number of significant facility incidents were reported, including:

• Fire/non-arson 1
• Hospital admission of inmate 100
• Individual inmate disturbance 14
• Inmate accidental injury 9
• Inmate attempted suicide 9
• Inmate self-inflicted injury 6
• Inmate/inmate assault 7
• Inmate/personnel assault 7
• Inmate-introduced contraband 9
• Major disturbance 1
• Major maintenance/service disruption 1
• Minor disturbance 5
• Personnel accidental injury 1
• Personnel/inmate assault 1
• Unknown source-introduced contraband 2
• Visitor-introduced contraband 8

 


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