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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77893 Find in a Library
Title: Current Status of County Jails in New York State
Author(s): W H Stephens; A B Roberts; E J Cocci; R L Olson
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 12
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Findings and a central recommendation are presented from a 1980 study of the current status of New York State county jails.
Abstract: Most of New York State's 57 county jails are old, averaging 51 years of age. Thirty-one are operated above 80 percent of capacity. The Commission of Correction has estimated that it would cost $191 million by 1985 to bring all county jails and three penitentiaries up to the required standards for capacity, fire safety, separate inmate classification, and contact visitation. A survey of 25 county jails showed that only 35 percent of the inmates were serving sentences; the remaining two-thirds were awaiting trial and 76 percent of them were housed for less than 10 days. Of those serving sentences, 69 percent were convicted of misdemeanor or lesser crimes, with nearly two-thirds serving less than 10 days. It is recommended that each county examine the nature of its jail population to determine how it can maximize the use of cheaper types of secure cells for short-term inmates, while still maintaining an adequate number of more conventional jail cells to house those charged with or convicted of violent felony charges. It is estimated that the cost of developing facilities could be reduced by $75 million to $100 million if the counties opted to build low-cost barracks for nonviolent low-risk inmates. These structures could also be built quickly to deal with immediate inmate housing needs. A chart is provided to show the conditions of each county jail.
Index Term(s): Capital investment; Corrections management; Costs; Criminology; New York; Surveys
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