Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182
www.doccs.ny.gov

For immediate release:

Monday, December 22, 2003

Counties avoid millions in spending as "state ready" inmates decline by 96 percent

The attached charts detail the cost avoidance for county taxpayers as the state reduces the number of "state readies" in local jails to record lows, the subject of the cover story in next month's edition of DOCS/TODAY that was posted today on the Department's web site at www.doccs.ny.gov

The state provides counties with a $34 per diem offset to their costs of housing "state readies" - the payment was never designed to represent full reimbursement of costs.

The best way to determine exactly what county costs were for each year versus the state offset is to request data from each of 62 counties across the state. The attached charts are designed to expedite that process. They show how much each county received in state reimbursement. That, plus the latest jail operating costs provided by counties, allows estimates to be made of each county's costs - and the spending they now avoid as the state takes custody of felons more quickly than ever before.

Here's how to read the accompanying charts using the alphabetically-first county of Albany as an example:

On the "County cost"  140 KB page, Albany County reported on Dec. 15, 2003 that its current per diem inmate housing cost is $97.27. With the reimbursement rate of $34, that means the state reimburses Albany County approximately one-third of its costs for housing "state readies."

The starting point in the attached charts is the period of Oct. 1, 1998-99 - the year "state readies" reached their zenith, totaling 4,271 statewide.

The "1998x99"  134 KB page shows data for that year. Albany County is listed as having received $616,488 in state reimbursement for the housing of state readies during that year. Since that payment represented roughly one-third of its costs, that means it cost Albany County taxpayers another $1.2 million - the remaining two-thirds of the cost - to house "state readies" that year.

The county data for each subsequent year - "1999x00,"  140 KB "2000x01"  137 KB and "2001x02"  132 KB - can be used to track the increasing cost avoidance to each county as DOCS reduced the number of "state readies" from its highest levels.

For example, Albany's reimbursement dropped to $138,448 in the year ending Sep. 30, 2002 (2001x02). That means its two-thirds cost was roughly $277,000 that year - a 77 percent reduction from the $1.2 million cost it bore to house "state readies" in 1998-99.

Dividing the annual payment to a county by $34 results in the number of "state ready" days - not the number of "state ready" inmates - in each county for each year. That is the number of days county jail beds were occupied by "state readies" waiting to enter state prison.

Figures for the year ending Sep. 30, 2003 are expected to total $2-$3 million statewide. Those figures will not become available until all data from the counties is audited over the next few months.

Links to charts mentioned in text above:

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