Tompkins County
New York


Accepting the “Assessment of the Future of the Tompkins County Jail" Report and Commending the Center of Governmental Research for its Thorough and Thoughtful Work


Department:County AdministrationSponsors:
Category:Public SafetyProjects:Public Safety Building


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Resolution/Document Body

WHEREAS, by Resolution No. 234 of 2016, and in response to the possible revocation of an 18-bed variance at the Tompkins County Jail by the New York State Department of Corrections, this Legislature commissioned a “Criminal Justice/Jail Population Trends Assessment” by the Rochester-based Center for Governmental Research (“CGR”) to analyze the current and projected population of the County’s Jail, incorporating the several current, pending, and potential activities intended to reduce the jail population, and


WHEREAS, the CGR study involved a combination of qualitative information obtained in interview and focus group discussions, and extensive quantitative analyses of empirical data obtained from the jail, Probation, other agencies and various ATI and community-based programs, and


WHEREAS, during the course of the study, CGR conducted interviews with more than 125 individuals broadly representative of and knowledgeable about the local community and the Jail and criminal justice system and also met with the Jail Study Committee, the Criminal Justice Advisory/Alternatives-to-Incarceration Board, two groups of persons with direct experience as defendants in the local criminal justice system and as inmates in the local jail, and participated in a Jail Study Committee-sponsored town meeting at which about 20 speakers offered various perspectives on our study and the future of the County Jail, and


WHEREAS, numerous quantitative analyses were undertaken, most prominently including detailed independent analyses of data provided by the County Jail and by the Department of Probation and Community Justice, as well as data obtained and analyzed from various County and community-based agencies and from New York State Offices including the Division of Criminal Justice Services, Commission of Correction, Office of Court Administration, and Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, and


WHEREAS, based on the findings derived from this qualitative and quantitative analysis, CGR provided approximately 25 recommendations that, if implemented, provide an opportunity to appreciably reduce the population of the Tompkins County Jail, and


WHEREAS, this Legislature finds that CGR fully met its charge and has provided many well-substantiated recommendations, and 


WHEREAS, it is the commitment of this Legislature to pursue policies and programs such as those recommended by CGR in order to reduce Jail population as the alternative to expanding the capacity of the Jail, now therefore be it


RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Jail Study Committee, That this Legislature accepts the July 2017 Report by the Center for Governmental Research titled “An Assessment of the Future of the Tompkins County Jail” and commends its authors for their thorough and thoughtful work.   


Meeting History

Aug 17, 2017 5:00 PM  Jail Study Committee Regular Meeting

The Committee accepted a friendly amendment to the last Whereas as suggested by Ms. Robertson.

MOVER:Anna Kelles, Vice Chair
SECONDER:Martha Robertson, Member
AYES:Rich John, Anna Kelles, James Dennis, David McKenna, Martha Robertson
Sep 5, 2017 5:30 PM Media Tompkins County Legislature Regular Meeting

Ms. Kiefer said she did not agree with all the aspects of the report and would like to thank them rather than commend them.

It was MOVED by Ms. Kiefer, seconded by Ms. Chock, to amend the title and Resolved from “Commending the Center of Governmental Research for its Thorough and Thoughtful Work” to “Thanking the Center of Governmental Research for its Work”. Following a brief discussion, a voice vote resulted as follows: Ayes - 6 (Legislators Chock, Dennis, Kiefer, Lane, McBean-Clairborne, and Sigler); Noes - 8 (Legislators Burbank, John, Kelles, Klein, McKenna, Morey, Robertson, and Stein). AMENDMENT FAILED.

MOVER:Rich John, Member
SECONDER:David McKenna, Member
AYES:Will Burbank, James Dennis, Rich John, Anna Kelles, Daniel Klein, Michael Lane, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Martha Robertson, David McKenna, Glenn Morey, Michael Sigler, Peter Stein
NAYS:Carol Chock, Dooley Kiefer