St. Lawrence County sheriff expected to attend jail overcrowding meeting today with Sen. Ritchie
Monday, October 15, 2012 - 9:24 am

St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells is among local and state leaders expected to join state Sen. Patty Ritchie for a meeting to address jail overcrowding today at noon.

Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Chair Sen. Michael Nozzolio and sheriffs from Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties will attend the meeting in Ritchie’s Watertown office.

The meeting stems from an effort spearheaded by Ritchie to provide additional mandate relief for local taxpayers by addressing the problem of state prisoners being held in local county jails.

Ritchie recently wrote to the Commissioner of Corrections and Community Supervision to ask that he use under-filled state prisons—such as the Watertown Correctional Facility at Dry Hill—to hold state parole violators currently being housed in crowded county jails.

According to sheriffs in her district, holding state prisoners in local facilities is costing taxpayers more than $2 million per year.

Ritchie has raised the parole violator issue before, and has introduced legislation to alleviate the problem, which has passed twice in the Senate.