Press-Republican

Tuesday

March 5, 2013

Essex County praised for handling of federal prisoners

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Essex County Sheriff’s Department has been lauded for its professional treatment of federal prisoners lodged at the jail there.

The Sheriff’s Department has a contractual agreement with the U.S. Marshals Service to house federal inmates awaiting trial or sentencing.

In exchange, Essex County gets a per-diem payment for each inmate.

It’s those boarding fees that are helping pay off the cost of building the new jail, Sheriff Richard Cutting said.

“We built a facility that not only fulfills Essex County’s needs but also the needs of the (U.S.) Marshals Service.”

HUNDREDS HOUSED

He said 830 federal inmates have been housed in the new jail since it started taking them in 2008.

Boarding fees brought $4.6 million into the coffers of Essex County, which charges $80 to $90 a day.

The 120-bed jail on Stowersville Road in Lewis cost about $30 million to build, with annual bond payments of $1.5 million. It replaced a 24-bed 1870s jail in Elizabethtown that the county now uses for offices and records storage.

‘CAPABLE STAFF’

U.S. Marshal David Demag and Supervisory Deputy Marshal Insup Shin visited a recent Essex County Board of Supervisors meeting to talk about the boarding program that Cutting participates in.

Demag presented Cutting with a certificate of appreciation from the Marshals Service.

“We wanted to recognize Sheriff Cutting and his very capable staff for their support to the U.S. Marshals Service,” Demag said.

He said the Marshals Service’s Vermont District, which includes parts of northern New York and New England, uses 15 jails in five states to support its operation.

Essex County has one of the top two jails in that district, Demag said.

“We selected Essex County as one of our two jails that we built this program around. We selected this particular facility based upon the professionalism, their organizational skills, their can-do attitude and their support to our particular operation.”

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