To the Editor:
I realize the need to house Sullivan County Jail inmates somewhere other than in the current, unsafe facility.
But, given the County’s dire budget crunch, many area residents have been wondering about the findings of the State-funded, Sullivan-Orange-Ulster jail-sharing feasibility study.
News of the study hit the sweet spot, especially since all three jails were reportedly operating at 75% of capacity this past spring.
Sullivan, of course, would incur costs related to boarding inmates in Goshen or Kingston. But $80M is a staggering sum to sink into a facility that may then have to compete for inmates to run efficiently. Besides the initial construction, there are also costs related to daily operation and maintenance, as well as the loss of annual revenue were the 50-acre Town of Thompson parcel to exit the tax rolls.
My idea is to demolish the current Sullivan jail and build a small, overnight facility on the same location, thus insuring that inmates are available for County Court the next day, but housing them at Orange or Ulster the rest of the time.
Yes, the Sullivan Legislature has already approved purchasing land for the new jail, but I’d hope it would seriously consider my proposal nevertheless.