jail

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Onondaga County Legislature approved the creation of a jail oversight committee in January. The legislature appointed Barrie Gewanter to be the commission’s new executive director. Gewanter has been working as the director of the central New York chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union since 2003.

Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he supports a plan that would keep teenagers out of New York's adult prisons. A commission appointed by Cuomo released a scathing report yesterday that found too many young people in state prisons are being assaulted or victimized.

Right now 800 teenagers are held in adult jails and prisons across New York. The vast majority -- 82 percent -- are black and Hispanic, according to the State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

A proposal for a jail oversight board in Onondaga County is on the table after 16 months of discussions and community input.

Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon says this committee creates a place to go if something goes wrong at the jail.

“The incident can be reviewed by peers of the community, representatives of the community," McMahon said. "And then if it turns out the incident isn’t an incident, then they know there was due process. And if it is, then the committee’s job is to make a finding of fact and to make a recommendation.”
 

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The Oswego County Jail's inmate population has grown over the past four years, and has forced Oswego County to send inmates elsewhere to be housed. County officials sat at least some of the blame lies with the state.

In this year's budget, Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd says he allotted $100,000 to cover the costs of housing inmates at outside facilities. But two months into the new year, Todd had already used $130,000 and is now requesting more funding.

Keith Allison, Flickr

Onondaga County lawmakers are resurrecting a program that helps people who need to be bailed out of jail after committing minor crimes. Lawmakers agreed to put $25,000 in the recently passed 2014 budget, to run the Jail Ministry Bail Expediter Program.

Legislator Linda Ervin says constituents have been asking for a return of the program ever since it was disbanded, because of concerns that funds were being misused. She says it puts people without means on the same footing as those with ready cash who can bail out loved ones in the case of a minor crime, like shoplifting.

Sidsel Overgaard

Three opponents of a proposed gas storage facility near Seneca Lake were released from jail early Thursday. The activists were sentenced to fifteen days after trespassing on property owned by Inergy Corporation, but were released after about a week. Inergy is seeking approval to store millions of barrels of butane and propane in an old salt cavern near Watkins Glen.

The United as One Coalition is taking its case for an Onondaga County jail oversight board to county lawmakers.  Coalition members want the Onondaga County Legislature to create a board that they say could ultimately save lives.

jsawkins / Flickr

In a criminal trial, nothing makes guilt seem so certain than a confession from the accused. But a surprising number of confessions are not reliable. The incriminating facts often mentioned by police, then repeated later by the suspect. 

Recently, the New York State Bar Association joined the call for police to videotape interrogations. It's part of an effort to reduce wrongful convictions.