ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Back in March, the New York State Department of Corrections suspended intake of inmates in state prisons from county jail facilities in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In mid-June the Department of Corrections began to resume taking in inmates sentenced to state prison on a gradual, regional basis, and as long as certain criteria were hit.
While about 14 “state-ready” individuals have now been transferred out of the Albany County Correctional Facility, Sheriff Craig Apple said the jail still currently has about 33 “state-readies,” which represents about 10 percent of the facility’s population.
Though Apple said there’s a stipend of about $100 per inmate per day, it doesn’t cover all the costs.
“Please keep in mind, if I have a patient that’s sickly, pharmaceutical costs, and healthcare, you know, those costs can really rack up. I don’t get reimbursed for that,” Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said.
Apple said he’d rather have the empty cells than receive the stipends.
“Obviously, we’d like to see them go down, but I know the state’s backed up because every other county’s trying to do the same thing,” Apple said.
The Executive Director of the New York State Association of Counties said, all-in-all, he doesn’t believe it’s putting a strain on counties at this point.
“I think we’re working in a very cooperative way with … the State Department of Corrections. It makes little sense to move individuals around from one area of incarceration to another area of incarceration and to subject different populations with a potential of spreading the COVID-19 virus,” said Stephen Acquario.
As of Friday, the Department of Corrections had accepted more than 210 individuals from county jails and had another 140+ scheduled for transfer.