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February 17, 2017 - 12:37pm

County looking into paying for study to look at needs for new jail

posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Jail, news.

County legislators are being asked to approve a $110,000 expenditure to start a feasibility study on the construction of a new county jail.

Both County Manager Jay Gsell and Sheriff William Sheron told members of the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday that the county would be better off getting out in front of the issue instead of waiting for the Corrections Commission to come down hard on the county.

"If we didn’t at least show progress, do a needs assessment, they’re going to pull the variance," Sheron said.

For at least 15 years, the jail has been operating with a variance for the number of beds in the jail, and without it, the county would have to ship some portion of its male prisoner population to other county jails, like they do now with female inmates.

“If we have to start boarding out males at $85 to $90 a day aside from our 11 this week, I believe it was, to 22 females, that starts to push our costs outside the realm of reality," Gsell said.

Legislators asked if the study would take into account the county's ability to pay for a $35 million to $42 million facility, Gsell said the cost issue wouldn't be a factor if the county did nothing and the state forced the county into building a new jail.

"If we don’t do this and let the commission drive us the way they did the last time we had to add seven people into the complement of people (at the jail) because of the posts we have versus what they wanted us to do, then shame on us because, basically, our inability to pay wouldn't really factor into it," Gsell said.

Legislator Shelly Stein asked if the study would look at what services were offered through the jail. In an era of rising addiction rates, she said it was important to her that drug treatment and mental health professionals have better access to inmates.

Gsell said a needs assessment would gather input from all interested members of the community and all of those issues could be brought to the table.

After the meeting, Sheron said the Sheriff's Office is already in the process of working with drug treatment and mental health agencies on creating treatment programs at the jail.

The process would also include discussions on a joint facility with Orleans County, which has already had variances rescinded for its jail, perhaps even bringing Wyoming County into the discussion for a three-county facility.

Brian Graz
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$110,000 to study what, and who gets that money? Sounds like the State [Corrections Commission] already has indicated what is needed. Besides $40+ MILLION for a jail for a community the size of Genesee County is LUDICROUS!!! Have you ever been inside a $400,000 home? Well, think x100... and this is to provide housing of lawbreakers, criminals, and generally bad actors. WTF. These people deserve the bare minimum accommodations... NOT a country club!

John Roach
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Brian, again your lack of knowledge on a subject is astounding. Jails/prisons are not cheap to build. And then there is that State rule that you have to pay union scale for any work. And the State mandates all sorts of things the jail will have to have. This new one will also have a separate female area. But then, lets cut you some slack. You probably never worked in a jail/prison or had much to do with the cost of one.

Now, I agree with you, the cost of the study seems high. And are we, or are we not, going to talk with Orleans County on a shared facility. If so, are they going to help pay for this? If we pay for this and later, Orleans wants in, will we demand they give us money for the study we did?

david spaulding
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lighten up boys I may have something here...... I can save the county 50,000 dollars on this study..... you need to build a new jail, you need to follow all the directives of the smart people in the ny state government. now send a check for 60 grand to me in care of the Batavian.. to paraphrase my heros chuck schumer and chris Collins, "it's a no-brainer".
folks I just saved you 50 g's. you're welcome..

John Roach
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David to the rescue :)

Brian Graz
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John ya know, what is astounding is your condescending arrogance. In fact a number of my friends have told me that your displaying this attitude regularly, is a primary reason they have stopped reading and/or responding to Batavian reports. I should take a lesson from them... maybe soon.

John Roach
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Brian, when you have no idea what your talking about like calling this a "Country Club" I'll feel free to comment and point it out. No County Jail is a country club where did you get that? The estimated cost includes both a male and female section. You need a separate section for those held pending court, separate areas for juveniles and adults, a visiting area and many other things you have no idea about like the cost of a cell.

The idea we are being forced to build a new jail is what is really outrageous.

Brian Graz
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No way in hell that it should cost $40MILLION!!! The Buffalo Federal Detention Facility was originally estimated at $17-19M and ended up with a Total Project Budget of $20M. I'd say they deal with much more dangerous inmates than would the County lockup normally see.

http://buffalonews.com/1995/03/20/detention-center-set-for-batavia-or-al...

https://books.google.com/books?id=jhszAQAAMAAJ&pg=SA1-PA128&lpg=SA1-PA12...

Howard B. Owens
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If it cost $20 million in 1997, it would cost at least $30 million today.

Since the detention facility and the county jail serve different missions and populations, it's not really a direct comparison.

Eyeballing a Google search, other larger counties looking at new jails are planning on spending in excess of $100 million. Sullivan County, which I imagine is still larger than GC, received bids of $62 million to $75 million. (http://www.twcnews.com/nys/hudson-valley/news/2016/08/25/sullivan-county...). It would take a lot research to find a new jail recently constructed in a county more similar to GC.

I found estimates of new jail construction of $261 per square foot to $365 per square foot.

Jails are expensive.

John Roach
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As of the 2010 census, Sullivan County had 77,5600 residents compared to our 59,400 or about 25% more.

Our estimate of 40 million would be in the ballpark.

Rich Richmond
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Yes, new County Jails, unfortunately, are expensive to build and County Jails must meet all the new cumbersome and perhaps unnecessary rules and regulations mandated by law by the State of New York and Corrections Commission; rules and regulations that the Federal Corrections are exempt.

Brian Graz
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Yep, you progressives just love to go along with government spending... Just do it!
Why don't we compare by need, rather than who else has what... such as capacity, security requirements, etc. How many inmates does the Genesee County lockup need to hold [including the new female accommodation]? The Federal Detention holds 250, and has security for some really bad actors charged with Federal crimes... are you telling me that the County lockup needs are this extreme?
And even if, as Howard claims that $20M in 1995 is $30M today, that is for 250 inmates, and security of "international criminals".
Why are we being primed with a $35-42Million price tag for a replacement jail, that should build a facility for a community the size of Rochester. In fact; RGRTA [Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, now named RTS] recently [2015] built a new bus terminal for their public transportation system that services greater Rochester, and that "only" cost $50M.

Howard B. Owens
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If you're addressing "progressives," you're not addressing anybody in this thread.

John Roach
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Brian, the male county for the County too many times has been over 90, and we are rated for 80-83. You should plan on about 95-100. That includes of course people being held pending trail. You have to look at about 20 females. Your costs sited was the estimated one for 1997 (20 years old).

As for bad people. The Fed does hold some, but very few and they are there most of the time for a short time, going to court and such. Most are immigration holds.

Where do you the inmates at Attica come from? After they commit a crime and are caught, they go to County Jail. Yep, they start out in County jails, and that is when in many cases they are the most dangerous.

Again, you have no real idea. Just your comparisons of a bus terminal with a jail proves my point.

And as for us being "Progressives", again that tells us how out of touch with reality you are

John Roach
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Let's be clear, Genesee County is not going to build a new jail because it wants to. The County does not want to do this at all.

It is doing this being forced to by New York State. Our legislators not only do not want to build it, but do not want to spend anymore money than what is needed (despite what Brian would have you think), no more. This will be no "country club" like Brian said.

Rich Richmond
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Progressives, Brian; you’re calling us Progressives? Is February 17, 2017 your first time on the Batavian and have read anything we’ve posted before?

Jim Urtel Jr
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I think Brian has some good points!

Mary E DelPlato
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upgrade my house and bring the prisoners here ...wow where does all that money come from...

Brian Graz
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If you three fellows truly believe that you are not progressives then I've got some ocean front property in AZ to sell you. Just the fact that my applying the term touched a nerve in all of you should indicate there's a connection. To borrow a definition from Jim Ostrowski “Progressivism is a mindset that favors the use of aggressive government to solve social problems.” I say that fits Batavia, Genesee County, NYS and you troops of the Batavian. There's nothing bad about being a progressive, but I mostly do not agree with it's method. It is the mother of bigger government, more government spending and government theft by taxation. More and more often without real representation [taxation without representation, now where have we heard that before?] Want an example, there are thousands, but I'll cite one - NYSAFE. 52 of the 62 Counties of NYS passed resolutions opposing the SAFE Act and calling on the Governor to repeal it... but we still have it and we fund it's operation with our taxes. Progressivism!

If you can take some time away from commenting and debating on the Batavian, pick up a copy of Ostrowski's book and give it a look.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/10/patrick-krey/the-ideology-destroying...

John Roach
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Brian, I think we were making fun of you because you have been so wrong, again. While you have done nothing, both Rich and I have both run for local office to limit the size of local government (we both lost). You have never even tried.
You are now saying to have a jail/prison (new or old) is aggressive government? Are you now saying they are not needed?
As for taxation without representation, then run for County Legislator this year. All the parties will be looking for candidates, and you can always run a primary if your party does not pick you.
And now you bring the unrelated SAFE ACT into your being wrong on the County Jail. Like your comparing the cost of a bus terminal to the cost of a jail, you are getting funnier

Howard B. Owens
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“Progressivism is a mindset that favors the use of aggressive government to solve social problems.”

Sounds like Trump.

Brian Graz
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I'm waiting for Richmond to chime in, that'll be the third 'thumbs up', the trifecta... you guys are like the 3 Stooges. But agreeably you are in the right place, NYS the land of Progressivism to the extreme.

John, I'd suggest you take your own advise, and run again for political office again since you are so "right" and I am so "wrong". BTW, if you are so "right" and you and Richmond are not "progressive", and our community [City, Town, County] is not "progressive"... why didn't you guys win your elections? Maybe, if the progressives in the GOP Establishment can get rid of Trump that will open the way for even more progressives in local level politics. {The writing is on the wall... John Roach - Chair of GC Legislature, Rich Richmond - President of the Batavia City Council, Howard Owens, City of Batavia Manager}. ;>))

In my previous comment [#18] I mis-spoke... I said "There's nothing bad about being a progressive", I need to rescind that statement. Government is a vehicle of oppression, and has been deceptively disguised as the bringer and caretaker of liberty, by progressivism... what a fraud.

John Roach
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Brian, nice try to switch topics since you have been flat out wrong on the County Jail. But, that was to be expected. Come on, using 20 year old cost data, then comparing a jail to a bus terminal.

Do you have the courage to run? Will you?

John Roach
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On the other hand, this is not about me, Brian, or anyone else. Again, no County Legislator just woke one day and said, "Let's build a new jail". They all knew the day was coming and delayed as long as they could. Even now, all they are doing is the study that will have to be done sooner or later. They do not want to build a new jail, but , better to be ready than not.

Rich Richmond
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Brian, my Post #10 is my opinion. This post had nothing personally to do with you. Nothing negative was said or implied for your opinions posted in this thread.

In your Post #11, Brain, you decided to go personal with a blanket statement to deflect because we disagreed with you; “Yep, you progressives just love to go along with government spending.

In my Post #15, Brian, I’m genuinely incredulous that you would say something so arrogant…..so condescendingly ludicrous.

Brian, you said in Post #18, “If you three fellows truly believe that you are not progressives then I've got some ocean front property in AZ to sell you”. This comment is hardly clever. It is nothing more than a petulant platitude.

Brian, you also said “Just the fact that my applying the term touched a nerve in all of you should indicate there's a connection”.

You flatter yourself if you truly believe you touched a nerve in any of us.

Are you familiar with the theory of projection, Brian? You said in part in your Post #5, “John ya know, what is astounding is your condescending arrogance.”

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which individuals defend themselves against their own unconscious negative impulses or qualities by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.

How much did you pay for that ocean front property in Arizona, Brian?

Brian Graz
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I didn't switch topics, maybe in your mind I did. It's apparently that you simply have difficulty considering more than one facet of a discussion at a time. Like your total confusion over linking the RTS Bus Terminal with the County jail. They both are public operations [RTS is a Public Benefit Corp], and both were likely mandated by government, and both funded by taxpayers. So, you see there are common features... and most progressives don't like to discuss projects where the taxpayers are "required" to foot the cost while having no real input. Just like the expenditure of the $110,000 to "study" the "needs". WTH is that for? The Corrections Commission decides what is needed, and has already done so I'm sure. All that's left for the County to do is find the best deal contractor and decide if they can agree to form a consolidation with Orleans and Wyoming counties. Maybe if the progressives in Albany [who mandate this stuff] see that we are spending $110k on studying the project, it will postpone the inevitable long enough that we can do something frivolous with the windfall from the sale of the GCNH... like balancing the budget and lowering taxes. OMG, what a crazy idea... there I go "wrong" again.

No John, I didn't switch topics, I'm still talking about how ludicrous it is to spend $40+MILLION on a jail for Genesee County.

Brian Graz
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It's most interesting that I never mentioned Rich or Howard by name ,and I did not mention John by name until after he addressed me personally by name in his post. So for you fellas to take offense to my "blanket" statement “Yep, you progressives just love to go along with government spending", pretty much tells the tale. Actually Rich, I wasn't familiar with psychological projection... but obviously you are.

Rich Richmond
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It's most interesting to you and you alone, Brian. Not mentioning us by name is irreverent since it is perfectly clear who you are referring too. It is good form to address a person by his or her name, regardless if you agree with them or not.

Again, Brian, you flatter yourself to believe we take offense, or you touched a nerve with your taunting.

John Roach
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Brian, I notice you still duck answering if you will run this year. It's easy, you say either yes or no. Will you step up or will you continue to sit down?

I can understand not wanting to spend any money on a new jail. I don't know anyone who wants to. But unlike you, I do not believe jails are "aggressive government" and I believe jails are needed. Do you believe jails are needed?

And I already agreed the cost of the study seems high, but we have to still find out what it will cover. And if the jail needs to be built, $40 million while a lot, is in line with the cost of building a jail.

Your using 20 year old cost data and a bus terminal for comparison to a jail is still funny.

Rich Richmond
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Brian, most likely won't stand up and answer that question, John. Why should he stand when he can sit and type? Why should he sit when he can lie down? He will continue to taunt and disparage those of us who do try, and as in the past, offer excuses.

Howard has done his part as a journalist and with the Batavian to provide a forum to discuss Thank you, Howard.

How Did You Die?
By Edmund Vance Cook:

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
with a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
with a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
but only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It's nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there -- that's disgrace.
The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts,
It's how did you fight -- and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he's slow or spry,
It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
But only how did you die?

Tim Miller
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I wish I had grabbed some popcorn when I started reading this!

Rich/John - you've made some darn good points...
Brian - NOW you can say there's a progressive in this thread.

I am curious about the feasibility of the Genesse/Orleans/Wyoming joint jail, and how transportation would affect it. Maybe somebody could study that? ;-)

Brian Graz
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#29... "Brain", a typo? I doubt it, coming from a progressive jerk... .

Frank Bartholomew
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W

Rich Richmond
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I apologise for misspelling your name. It was not deliberate. It was an honest mistake and I corrected it.

Sophomoric insults and calling names aren't my style.

Your predictable reaction and taunting are not surprising given your previous posts and you are projecting again, Brian.

Frank Bartholomew
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We should keep in mind that not everyone who ends up in jail is a bad person.People make mistakes,people have mental health issues,drug addictions,family problems,and on and on.Lets not be judgemental.Shoot,the damn thing saved after one keystroke,new laptop coming soon,however this is the only site I ever have this issue with?

Ed Hartgrove
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Tim Miller (concerning comment #30). You wrote, "I am curious about the feasibility of the Genesse/Orleans/Wyoming joint jail, and how transportation would affect it. Maybe somebody could study that?"

(Oh, before I go any further, isn't joint jail redundant? I think jointly-operated jail would be a better phrase)

As for solving the 3-county transportation *problem", how about this?:

Cede a strip of Genesee County's western-most land to Wyoming County, running south from the "STAMP" project, and, a strip of land running north to Orleans County in the same manner. Then, just build the jointly-operated jail on the "STAMP" property. Problem solved!

And, no, before you mention it, I didn't forget about the fact that a small portion of the county's western-most land contains part of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. The county could just seize (enough of) it to suit the 3-county's needs, using eminent domain, and push the Native Americans off THEIR land, AGAIN!!! It certainly wouldn't be the first time the "gov't" broke a treaty with them. I'm guessing that, given enough time, like FOREVER, the disenfranchised Native Americans might forgive the "gov't" for screwing them over, again. NOT!!!

Anyways, at least the "STAMP" property would have SOMETHING built on it.

John Roach
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Brian, now you have to resort t to name calling. How weak.

Howard B. Owens
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Reminder: Name calling is not allowed.

Dave Olsen
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If these guys are hell bent on spending $110,000.00 of taxpayer, it would be far more cost effective for the taxpayers to research alternatives to incarceration. I'm told that many of our county's inmates are repeat offenders. But of what? DWI's, drug arrests and scofflaws? If someone has committed a violent crime against another person, then yes, get him/her out of society. Most of them, however could probably be dealt with outside of locking them up. It's just easier to contain them. It would likely take more human interaction than it does now and yes, that means adding more employees, although it could also be contracted to a private firm, nevertheless, I'd rather see money spent on researching ways to keep these people out of jail than make room for more. Lesser of two evils and all that.

Dave Olsen
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That's where I live Ed, so no. Bad idea. As is STAMP. But I'll sell for the right price, and NY will be my rear view mirror

Dave Olsen
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I know that one of the problems in finding alternatives to incarceration is the mandatory sentences and courts just don't have the authority to try alternative methods. Just one more way that the overbearing control of New York State screws us all. We've got to get back to home rule and deciding for ourselves how we want to handle all our issues. I still would like them to look into alternatives, before building some 30 million dollar complex.

Tim Miller
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Sorry 'bout that, Ed (#35)... I was being semi-sarcastic (I'd say semi-funny but it looks like it wasn't even semi-) about the "study of the Gen/Orleans/Wyoming" joint jail.

I mean, I was serious concerning wondering about the feasibility, but being a wise-guy about the studying it. It seems the burden would most likely be on Orleans/Wyoming.

Ed Hartgrove
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Yeah, Dave. I actually thought about you when I wrote that. But, don'tcha think it's about time you thought about the "greater good"? After all, it's about "progress" (which is part of "progressive"). I'm not sure, but, I have an idea that (probably) thousands of people didn't want to give up their "little chunk of land" when the land for the Thruway was being conceived. Eminent domain doesn't care about individuals.

Time to "feel the Bern", Dave!

;)

Ed Hartgrove
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Nothing to be sorry about, Tim.

As for the sarcasm, I'm not sure what that means. I NEVER write anything sarcastic!

Oh... wait!
;)

david spaulding
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he he you guys are awesome..... hey what the hell ? I came up with a great idea to save GC a lot of money and no one, not one taxpayer, said anything. some one is hot under the collar about a jail. ....everybody take a deep breath, that's it, now listen up.... a jail is going to be built, you are going to pay for this jail, nys will provide all mandates for the construction of this jail. now try to think of it this way, lol, jobs, yes jobs will be created. when project is completed there will be issues that will cost even more money to rectify. so there you have it.... a new county jail for you. think of it this way, if you act up and need to go to jail, wouldn't you like to go somewhere nice and new ?

Dave Olsen
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Well, if taxes keep going up, the county may end up with a lot of land all over.

Howard B. Owens
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Dave, Genesee County is one of the most innovative jurisdictions in the nation in alternatives to incarceration. It's called Genesee Justice and it was the first restorative justice program of its kind in the nation.

Genesee Justice was created by Doug Call when he campaigned for Sheriff, running against building a new jail. He said he had a better plan to keep the jail population down. Thus, Genesee Justice after he won.

We also have Drug Court and Mental Health Court and Veterans Court. All programs designed to keep people out of jail if at all possible.

Is there more that could be done to keep people out of jail? Sure. I think so. But state laws would have to change and attitudes would have to change. There are still a lot of people around who have a "lock them all up and throw away the key" type of attitude toward any kind of crime. That's going to have a powerful influence on otherwise reform-minded politicians.

So that's one set of reality.

The other reality is: The state's going to mandate it.

I've not heard anybody offer any alternative facts to that glaring reality. Everybody against a new jail just isn't facing that truth head-on.

Brian Graz
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Let's consider a few basic statistics... Genesee County population was (+/- 2%)...
1990 - 60,000
2000 - 60,000
2010 - 60,000
2016 - 60,000

So, now our county jail is totally inadequate and too small... and we need to build a brand new one for $40+MILLION???

John Roach
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There was a time we had enough empty cells that we could hold over State inmates and charge the State to hold them.

And, as Howard pointed out, this county does have programs to keep people out of jail, especially prior to trail.

But, over the years, we have not only filled the Jail cells, but we go over what we are legally allowed to house year after year. That is what brought the attention of the State.

Once again, not one Genesee County Legislator wants to spend any money on a new jail, and will delay as long as possible. This is all being driven by the State (same thing in Orleans County).

John Roach
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Joined: May 29 2008 - 5:22am

As pointed out, our County population has not changed much since 1990. Why are we now short cells? Is it a change in the character of the population? I do see more arrests related to sex crimes/abuse (more people willing to come forward). But with more programs to keep people out of jail, how come we are losing the battle of the cells?

Mary E DelPlato
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Joined: Jul 29 2008 - 4:50pm

i agree with
Dave instead of punishing people with obvious problems why not help to rehabilitate....some you cannot some you can....for example...Johnny a local guy...(RIP) had a cleptomania problem...he was jailed various times...was he ever helped????was he ever counseled?

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