Dutchess County Saves $1 Million with Pod Addition

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — The two temporary housing units installed in the Dutchess County Jail in Poughkeepsie last May saved the county about $1 million in costs that would have been used housing out inmates to other counties, reported Daily Freeman News. Before the units (or pods) were installed, the county would have to ship inmates to other jails at a cost of sometimes more than $100 per inmate per day.

The two pods are currently a temporary solution to the jail’s overcrowding problem. Each pod can hold up to 200 inmates, while the jail can hold about 250. The county is currently under state order to develop a permanent solution to the overcrowded jail.

A new facility is currently in the works to be built at the same site in Poughkeepsie. The county contracted New York-based Ricci Greene Associates in 2014 to develop a proposed expansion master plan. That plan will include both new construction and renovation of the existing facility, providing bed space for up to 625 inmates while also improving access to evidence-based services to combat recidivism. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2016 or early 2017, reported Daily Freeman News.

Dutchess County has had issues with overcrowding at its jail since the mid-1970s. A 1996 expansion to the facility was added to help ease overcrowding, but it was overcrowded the day it opened, reported Daily Freeman News. As such, the county has had to spend millions of dollars having to pay other counties to house the inmates as well as staff time and vehicle and maintenance costs.

Ulster County has been the primary county housing the transferred inmates, receiving total board-in revenue of $5,473,255 between 2011 and 2014, according to Daily Freeman News. All but 10 percent of that money came from Dutchess County. Ulster County opened a new jail in 2007 that has made it easy for the county those the additional inmates.