County vies for visiting prisoner funds

HUDSON–The county Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee met Thursday, January 21 and the addressed a number of issues, including the business of housing inmates from other counties.

Getting paid by other counties to keep their prisoners in this county’s jail “is actually a business. And there’s competition between counties for inmates,” County Sheriff David P. Bartlett told the Public Safety Committee. “Dutchess County just added space to its jail” in order to get more inmates, he reported. “Now Ulster County wants more inmates.”

Columbia County received $72,000 from other counties for housing their prisoners in December 2015 and $79,000 in December 2014, according to Sheriff Bartlett.

At the same meeting, the supervisors asked Fire Coordinator William Hunt to look into the possibility of allowing the sale of firecrackers in Columbia County during the Fourth of July season, and to report back to them. Nearby counties are selling some fireworks. When this issue came up last year, the fire departments opposed it.

Public Defender Robert Linville praised state Senator Kathleen Marchione (R-43) for arranging funding for new security technology for 610 State Street in Hudson. That building houses the county Public Defender’s Office, Probation Department and a Department of Social Services subdivision.

Mr. Linville also noted that his office is charged with defending suspects in three murder cases current in the county.

The next Public Safety Committee meeting will take place Thursday, February 18, at 5:00 pm, at the same place.

 

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