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Proposals Received to Conduct Jail Population Study

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Proposals Received to Conduct Jail Population Study

Thursday, October 20, 2016

At today’s second meeting of the Legislature’s special Jail Study Committee, County Administrator Joe Mareane reported that two consultant proposals have been received in response to the County’s Request for Proposals to conduct a socially focused population study of the Tompkins County Jail.

The Jail Study Committee was appointed by Legislature Chair Michael Lane following the announcement by the New York State Commission of Correction (COC) of its intent to revoke the Jail’s long-standing 18-bed variance that has allowed the Jail to operate above its 82-bed capacity. Based on the County’s appeal, the Commission subsequently agreed to extend the variance through year’s end, making it clear that it expects to be informed the County is making significant progress on the population study, the first of two studies the County will undertake focused on the jail capacity issue.

Administrator Mareane told the committee that proposals have been received from CGR (the Center for Governmental Research), of Rochester, NY, and ILPP (the Institute for Law and Policy Planning), of Berkeley, CA. The committee today scheduled a special meeting on October 27 at 5 p.m., to review the proposals. Mr. Mareane advised that the Legislature should select a consultant to conduct the study no later than November 15, since the County by that time needs to report its progress to the COC, 45 days before the jail variance would be set to expire.

The committee, by unanimous vote, approved a committee to review the consultant proposals, made up of members of the Jail Study Committee, Director of Probation and Community Justice Patricia Buechel, and Jail Captain Ray Bunce, representing the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office.

Director Buechel also briefed the committee today on the range of Alternatives-to-Incarceration programs the County has operated through her department over the last 30 years. Committee Chair Rich John said he wants to focus his committee’s regular meeting next month on what else the County potentially could be doing in supporting programs that could further reduce jail population levels.