Buildings and Grounds employees in Jefferson County are transforming the county jail's indoor gym into a dorm for inmates. The extra 36 beds help with the jail's constant overcrowding, but more beds are still needed.
Spike Decker, head of the Jefferson County's buildings and grounds department, got a call this summer from the State Commission of Corrections. They asked if Decker could find a way to add beds and a few toilets to the jail's indoor recreation room. He got to work.
"We are really just converting an open room into a dormitory for our guests," Decker said.
Since its passage in January 2013, the New York SAFE Act has been a topic of discussion for law enforcement officials across the state, including the two candidates running to replace outgoing Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh.
While speaking with Grant Reeher on WRVO's Campbell Conversations, Republican Gene Conway and Democrat Toby Shelley expressed concerns with the gun control law, and neither threw their full support behind it.
A new, higher level of medical care is now available at the Onondaga County Justice Center. The new infirmary is located in the downtown Syracuse jail that holds prisoners awaiting trials or transfer to other facilities.
There has always been space for an infirmary in the almost 20-year-old jail, but cost considerations kept Onondaga County from staffing it. Now, the medical organization the county contracts out to can offer the advanced level of training needed for the staff that already works in the jail’s medical unit.