Wyoming County Jail Dealing with Overcrowding

News

TUNKHANNOCK, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) Across the state, county prisons are becoming overcrowded. 
Prisoners are having to cross county lines to serve their time costing taxpayers more money. Wyoming County has been dealing with this issue for years and now it’s overwhelming the system due in part to the heroin epidemic. 
The county jail was built in the 1980s as a 20 cell facility that can house 40 male and 14 female inmates. Today, the total number of men have doubled. The county warden says they are tripling up the cells to accommodate the influx. 
“We’ve gotten to the point where it’s past a fluke it’s not even a trend. It’s just a fact we have more people than we can deal with,” said Warden Kenneth Repsher. 
County commissioners have been trying to work on the issue by adding new programs to save on expenses. “But, unfortunately, the overcrowding is what’s our biggest expense,” said Commissioner Thomas Henry. 
Henry says just this year the county has spent $40,000 sending inmates to other county prisons. In hopes to cut costs in the future, commissioners entered into a feasibility study to know how much it will cost to build a 170 inmate jail. 
“You’re going to pay for it one way or the other. You’ll pay for it on the front end by building a new institution. You’ll pay for it in the back end by sending people out,” said Warden Repsher. 

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