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Dutchess County Legislature

22 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


845-486-2100 Fax 845-486-2113

KENNETH ROMAN County Legislator

DISTRICT V Town of Poughkeepsie

To: Chairman Robert Rolison From: Legislator Kenneth Roman Re: Jail Study Advisory Committee Date: January 9, 2012 Pursuant to Resolution No. 2011202 to create a Jail Study Advisory Committee to examine all aspects of the criminal justice system within Dutchess County as it relates to the jail population please see the enclosed report from the Jail Study Advisory Committee. As both Chairman of the Jail Study Committee and Public Safety Committee I look forward to working with you and County Executive Molinaro on the next steps to address the serious and chronic issues of jail overcrowding in our County. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of further assistance.

Copy: All Legislators County Executive Sheriff

DCLKenRoman@yahoo.com www.dutchessny.gov

DUTCHESS COUNTY LEGISLATURE

JAIL STUDY ADVISORY COMMITTEE FINAL REPORT


Members: Legislator Ken Roman (Chair), Legislator Rob Rolison Legislator Sandy Goldberg, Legislator Gerry Hutchings, Jail Administrator Lt. Col George Krom, Jail Staff Major Todd Gdula & Capt. Michael Walters, County Probation & Community Corrections Director Mary Ellen Still, County Public Works Commissioner Charlie Traver. With special assistance from Assistant to the Legislature Chairman Michael A. Ellison, Legislator Angela E. Flesland, and Legislator Michael N. Kelsey.

January 9, 2012 Dutchess County Legislature 22 Market Street, 6th Floor, Poughkeepsie New York 12601 Tel: (845) 486-2100 / Fax: (845) 486-2113

Resolution No. 2011202 created a Jail Study Advisory Committee to examine all aspects of the criminal justice system within Dutchess County as it relates to the jail population. Many factors influence jail overcrowding and there is simply not one solution to this problem. The chronic overcrowding of the current jail facility has resulted in millions of dollars spent every year on housing out and related costs. The following report identifies factors influencing the current population of the Dutchess County Jail. This report also identifies what must be addressed in a comprehensive study on the Dutchess County Jail and criminal justice system before it proceeds with any jail expansion and modernization effort. Brief County overview of previous jail expansions: In the 1950s, the old jail was expanded to a capacity of 112 inmates. The Dutchess County Sheriffs Office is currently housed in that facility. The existing County Jail, constructed in 1985, had an original capacity of 175. An addition in 1995 increased the Jails capacity to 286. The 1995 expansion included two 50-bed units, one 10-bed pre-classification unit, and one 8-bed medical unit. With variances granted by the State, up to 316 inmates were housed at the Jail from 1999 through 2005, at which time the variance was rescinded. From 2005 to 2008, the Jail could house only a maximum of 257 inmates; the Commission of Correction subsequently increased this number to 292 in 2008. When the population exceeds 292, inmates must be housed out at other facilities. Following each addition or expansion of the Jail, the average daily population almost immediately exceeded capacity. For example, the 1985 addition could house 186 inmates, but by 1988 the average daily population was 215. Similarly, the 1995 expansion, which had a maximum capacity of 286, had an average population of 291 by the following year. Since 2001, the average daily population has exceeded 300, with the past two years showing a marked increase. In 2010, the average daily population was 386 and during 2011, the population has periodically exceeded 400. Why prior jail expansions have not met current population needs: A great deal of research has been conducted in the area of corrections over the past decade. Much of this information was not yet available to those analyzing jail expansion needs in the past. Combined with a concern about overbuilding, the focus tended to be on immediate and shorter term goals. Still, a 2002 study prepared by Cerniglia & Swartz/Vitetta for the County, predicted the following: Average Inmate Admissions Projections Lows and Highs Year 2005 2010 2015 Average 3,530 3,678 3,877 Low 3,001 3,126 3,295 High 4,060 4,230 4,459

The actual number of admissions for 2010: 3,423, a statistic closer to the low end of the predictions. Clearly, the jail has been most impacted by a gradual increase in the length of stay, a statistic influenced by a number of factors. The study predicted the following: Average Daily Population Lows and Highs Year 2005 2010 2015 Average 329 343 361 Low 279 291 310 High 378 394 415

The actual average daily population of 386 inmates is an average approaching the higher end of the prediction. Significantly, the study also noted that The length of stay variable is the most difficult to predict in terms of long term directions The length of stay data especially since 1995 (when the full impact of new Alternatives To Incarceration or ATI programs were experienced), would seem to indicate that the cause was an extension of the judicial process, as opposed to a change in the inmate characteristics. This fact is most evidenced by major growth in the felony arrests waiting indictment. Indeed, it appears that a systems level approach is needed in order to consider the full range of options, opportunities and challenges when considering an expansion. This approach has been recognized by agencies such as the National Institute of Corrections, Center for Effective Public Policy, the Pretrial Justice Institute, and others as being most effective in promoting evidencebased decision making processes in local criminal justice systems. Recognizing that the Jail does not exist in isolation, a broad assessment of the criminal justice system needs to be undertaken in order to determine the size and type of jail cells and/or beds needed. This assessment needs to take into account criminal justice processing issues from the time of arrest, risk levels as identified by an actuarial assessment such as the PROXY and crimonogenic needs as identified by the COMPAS (Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions). Furthermore, the needs of special populations should be taken into consideration and evaluated as to whether they can be served in another, less costly setting or facility. It should also be recognized that the criminal justice population is dynamic and that continuous assessments must be conducted so that emerging trends can be identified and programs can be adapted to meet current needs. It will be critical to the long-term success of the Jail modernization and expansion project that all stakeholders are involved, including but not limited to the Sheriff, Jail staff, County Executive, County Legislature, Department of Public Works, Probation and Community Corrections, District Attorney, Public Defender, Dutchess County Courts, OCIS, and Mental Hygiene.

Cost comparisons of housing out vs. in-house costs: Jail administration estimates $6 million would be saved if there were no housing out costs. Boarding out costs, overtime, vehicle and gas costs and administrative costs comprise the total amount. Intangible issues are the possibility of accidents occurring during transports, slowing down of criminal justice processing because inmates are unavailable, and the lack of programming for inmates housed in other jails. Debt service payments would need to be taken into account to find the most cost efficient way to proceed with an expansion. Analysis of historic, current and future inmate population trends: The past several years have seen a gradual increase in admissions, but a more substantial increase in length of stay, driving up the average daily population at the Jail. In 2011, there has been a significant increase in the average length of stay, in spite of the fact that arrests have decreased. Even though arrests have decreased, many of those remanded to the Jail are staying for longer periods of time. Many factors contribute to this trend and this is an area that could be more thoroughly explored and analyzed. Examining the Jail population according to offense is also warranted and may help with developing recommendations. In 2010, for example, the greatest number of inmates were charged with misdemeanors and had an average length of stay of 38 days, representing a total number of jail days of 75,329. There were 306 individuals incarcerated for violent felonies with an average length of stay of 90 days and 27,747 total days. Admissions and average daily population for 2009, 2010, and 2011 through September are as follows: Admissions 20093,225 20103,423 20112,670 (through September) Average Daily Pop. 2009344 2010386 2011419 (through September)

Whether this trend of increasing length of stay will continue as the new norm is very difficult to predict. However, along with processing issues, many agencies in the criminal justice system have pointed out that the needs of special populations within the system are driving up the Jail census, as well as the census in other criminal justice and treatment agencies. Special Populations: Special populations include: women, youth, and individuals with mental health, substance abuse issues, and the dually diagnosed. There has been increasing recognition of the needs of special populations in the criminal justice system. The Criminal Justice Council (CJC) has committees focused on the needs of women and

youth. A team from the Department of Mental Hygiene is based in the Jail; mental health professionals work on-site at the Office of Probation and Community Corrections and strategies have been developed to meet the mental health needs of individuals involved in the criminal justice system at all levels. The Intensive Treatment Alternative Program (ITAP) is an intensive day treatment program that works with high risk individuals, Transitional Housing is available for those in need of structured and safe housing, the Diversion program in the City of Poughkeepsie has been successful in facilitating access to appropriate services for people with mental health needs, and a forensic coordinator assists the courts and agencies to determine treatment needs and level of care. Recent studies have been done on mental health needs, the youthful population and women in the Jail. These studies indicate that there are significant mental health issues in these populations, although whether this is because we are more successful in identifying these needs is unknown. There is also room for optimism as a comparison study of youth in the Jail from 1998 to 2008 revealed a 28% overall reduction in the number of incarcerated youth, a fact which may be attributable to the evidence-based programs created during that 10-year period. Unfortunately, with the ending of services and closing of facilities at the State level, there may be increasing pressure on the local system to meet the needs of those with mental health issues. Without these services, more people may end up in the Jail or cycling throughout the various parts of the criminal justice system. Although we want to recognize the need for services, we want to avoid incarcerating individuals solely to access treatment if their needs can be met in the community and their offenses do not warrant this level of security, as jail may not be the most appropriate setting and unnecessary incarceration will further strain county resources. ATI programs and emerging technology impact: ATI programs were designed to provide an array of interventions from least to most restrictive, depending on the risk level of the individual. The programs were developed to meet the needs of specific populations that were either in the Jail or at risk of being incarcerated. Throughout the years, efforts have been made to assess current needs and ensure that the programs were meeting these needs in light of evidence-based practices. Electronic Monitoring (EM) has been available for many years, with various improvements becoming available as technology improved. GPS is now widely available although not currently in use in Dutchess County. Techniques that do not rely on technology may also be effective. The curfew monitoring program used with juveniles has been very successful in limiting unwanted activities while providing meaningful contact with probation officials. Using technology to augment personal contacts may also be effective in monitoring the activities of defendants and probationers. Call-in centers and other forms of technology extend the reach of probation officers, enabling them to focus on higher risk defendants/probationers.

Release on Own Recognizance (ROR) and Release Under Supervision (RUS), because they generally deal with lower risk defendants, have a large capacity. Programs designed for higher risk defendants are smaller and more intense. The ATIs, in addition to relieving Jail overcrowding, are also designed to reduce recidivism in both the short and long term. Transitional Housing, for example, works in conjunction with intensive treatment programs, either ITAP or inpatient, to address underlying criminogenic and substance abuse needs. Transitional Housing has an immediate impact on the Jail census, as defendants (pretrial) are almost always taken directly from the Jail to the residence. Costs are mitigated because most residents are eligible for congregate care funds through DSS, funds they would be eligible for in any such residential setting. In addition, state funding also helps to support this residential setting. By targeting criminogenic needs, this program not only has an immediate impact on the Jail, but helps to reduce recidivism. Furthermore, individuals have an opportunity to demonstrate that they can be successful in a community setting, a setting they would return to shortly. The County may want to explore housing that is eligible for state and/or federal reimbursement or other funding, rather than relying solely on county dollars. Without these intensive pretrial and ATI programs, more defendants would remain in jail as neither judges, prosecutors or probation officers would deem the security level sufficient to ensure community safety. These programs can only be effective if the supervision and treatment levels are commensurate with the risk and identified criminogenic needs. Recommendations: A comprehensive assessment of the areas addressed in this report should be undertaken. Specifically: Continue to build a common culture informed by evidence-based practices among the criminal justice agencies. Conducting risk/need assessments as early as possible will help to inform decision making earlier in the criminal justice process rather than at the sentencing stage. Key decision making points throughout the criminal justice process should be reviewed for opportunities to improve efficiency. Explore the possibility of expanding current Transitional Housing beds or creating additional beds with appropriate services for the designated population. Services could be on-site or community based. Explore opportunities to secure state or other funding for Transitional Housing. For those individuals who are admitted and remain in the Jail, assessment and programming as appropriate should be made available. Such programming should readily transition to the community. The role of pretrial services and ATIs should be taken into consideration for a comprehensive approach. Individuals should not remain in a high security jail setting when other options are appropriate and available. Special needs populations should be considered in terms of level of care as well as security and treatment.

A form of centralized arraignment may mitigate processing issues and should be explored and perhaps a facility could be constructed at the jail for this purpose. Staff time may be saved and other efficiencies could be realized. Information could be readily accessed, speeding up informed decision making by all parties. Further research is warranted. Achieving an economy of scale by sharing resources whenever possible should also be explored. Within the constraints of security and safety, partnerships could be developed that would maximize staff, building and other resources. Determining the need for higher security cells, via risk assessment, as opposed to beds in a less secure environment, either in jail or another setting. A review of jails in other jurisdictions that have implemented innovative approaches should be considered. A review of literature from the National Institute of Corrections or other such organizations should be undertaken. Ensure the Dutchess County Jail complies with New York and American Correctional Association (ACA) Standards for Adult Local Detention Facilities and nationally accepted best practices for detention facility operations.

An analysis of the current and, within our ability, future Jail population, would allow us to determine what type of beds and facilities would be needed, the type of security required and the needs of special populations. Thinking of the Jail as part of a continuum of interventions/sanctions would encourage a comprehensive approach and allow us to use the Jail in the most productive, efficient and useful manner while also focusing on lowering recidivism. Provide an assessment that provides the county with an analysis of present and long-term needs regarding the County Jail. This includes, but may not be limited to, inmate intake and release, medical unit and infirmary, housing levels, officer training, evidence and records storage and related functions, and transport issues. Long-term needs should be projected on at least a twenty year outlook and should address any need or projection for expansion beyond the recommended alternative. Address staffing levels, types of supervision plans and operating costs for recommended alternatives. This includes correction officers, medical staff, administration, support, kitchen staff, intake, and transportation. Estimate site requirements and provide the County with preliminary site options. The assessment plan should comply fully with State and American Correctional Association Standards and State Fire Marshal requirements. The current facility must be examined with a focus on the following items: o Identify usable areas for each component of the facility (intake and receiving, housing, visiting, programming/treatment, dining and food service, medical, administration and other support services) and identify major space deficiencies; o Identify significant out-of-code conditions; o Identify life-safety problems; o Building systems and structural conditions; o Maintenance and repair conditions; o Review existing operations and staffing, with associated cost including Dutchess Countys significant jail staff overtime costs o Annual building operating expenses; and o Operational conditions and staffing patterns as benchmarks

Summary: Assessing the need for jail cells, or beds, is a complex undertaking. Issues that need to be taken into consideration include criminal justice processing which impacts admissions to the Jail as well as length of stay, special populations, emerging trends, the impact of potential new laws and other factors. A comprehensive study of these factors will give a more complete understanding of our current and future needs.