The Tompkins County Jail has been overcrowded for years; New York State says the county needs to deal with it.
Tompkins County is trying to avoid pricey solutions like expanding the jail or boarding out people in other county jails. County legislators ordered a study to look into how to improve alternatives to jail – degree programs, drug courts, etc. – to decrease the number of people.
Some criminal justice reform advocates want the study to focus on increasing social services outside the jail.
The group doing the study has visited the jail several times and conducted dozens of interviews.
It should be done by June. Then, the county jail committee makes recommendations to the legislature.
Thursday’s meeting at the legislative chambers is open to the public.