THOMPSON – It still will not be ready for occupancy for a couple of months, but county officials on Thursday cut the ribbon on the new $101 million Sullivan County Jail.
The facility will replace the current jail and sheriff’s office, with portions that date back 110 years, with a state-of-the-art facility.
The administration, patrol and civil units will move in by November while the state Commission on Correction must inspect the new jail before inmates can be transferred, which is anticipated in 2020.
Sheriff Mike Schiff praised his staff for enduring the deplorable conditions in the old facility. He told a ribbon cutting ceremony that portions of the Bushnell facility in Monticello are unbearably hot in the summer and terribly cold in the winter.
He praised the current county legislature for approving the project and funding for it. “They got it done,” he said.
Legislature Chairman Luis Alvarez, a retired DARE officer in the sheriff’s office, said he never expected to see the new facility built, but was thrilled that it has been completed.
District Attorney James Farrell noted the county was transitioning from “one of the oldest jails in the state to one of the newest jails in the state,” a facility he called “world class.”
The jail will have a capacity of 256 inmates with the ability to increase that to 304 with double-bunking. There is room for 244 men and 60 women in the facility. No juveniles will be housed there.