Updated 09/20/2012 04:22 PM
Sheriff Burns suggests temporary solution to jail overcrowding
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, N.Y. -- For the better part of a decade, Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns has been pushing for an expansion of the county jail. But so far, it's not something the county has wanted to do. So Burns is now throwing out the idea of a temporary structure to house inmates.
A Georgia based company builds jails that Burns says are just as secure as permanent ones, but only guaranteed for 15 years. The cost for Jefferson County would be about $7.7 million, about half of a permanent addition.
Burns says this is just an idea to help ease the overcrowding that's costing the county a million dollars a year to send inmates to other parts of the state. He still wants the county to go with a permanent solution.
"I feel what we really need is what I've been pushing for for the last ten years. We need to build a permanent structure, add on to the jail and make it big enough so we can house inmates so we can offset the costs," Burns said.
County leaders, who say shipping out inmates is cheaper than building a new addition, have told the sheriff they will look into it, but Burns says he's not expecting anything to happen.