Herkimer County officials cut a red ribbon to commemorate the completion of the construction phase of the Herkimer County Jail, but they’ll be cutting a good deal of red tape that plagued the old jail. Herkimer County Legislative Chairman Vincent Buono explains.
"It just makes sense because of the close proximity to the courts, the county building, and there’s a lot of departments that play into the sheriff’s department and corrections. Whether it be social services, mental health, public health, probation, the D.A., the courts within a half a mile they’re at those offices."
New York State Department of Corrections Chairman Allen Riley talked about the services that can now be provided right within the new facility.
"Healthcare exams, an x-ray, dentistry, can be performed within facilities saving dollars, not only on transportation and labor costs, but on the cost of the services."
Herkimer County heriff Scott Scherer explained how new technologies will provide corrections officers with a safer working environment, and inmates will be given better opportunities as well.
"The ability to video conference their loved ones, which right now with COVID going on we don’t even do visitation, so this is going to be a big step for them to be able to be in touch and finally see some of their loved ones."
Vincent Bono says being able to house all the inmates in the new jail will save the county a financial burden they’ve been plagued with for years.
"We have boarded out in the past for those 20 years, and we spent millions and millions of dollars sending that money and inmates to other counties. At one point there was a high of about $1.7 million that we spent on one particular year."
Inmates will be transitioned in to the new facility over the next few weeks, and when the jail is fully operational, taxpayers can expect to see a cost savings of $26,000 a month.