Assemblywoman Woerner’s Bill Allowing Local Law Enforcement to Use County Correctional Facilities Passes Assembly

Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) announced legislation she authored allowing all law enforcement agencies in Washington and Essex counties to use county correctional facilities to hold pre-arraigned prisoners has passed the Assembly (A.8596-A). This legislation has also passed the state Senate and now awaits approval from the governor.

“Right now, public safety resources aren’t being used efficiently and our police officers are being spread too thin,” said Woerner. “This legislation addresses their concerns and ensures more effective use of our county resources to save taxpayer dollars and help keep our loved ones and neighbors safe.”

Due to their rural and dispersed populations, Washington and Essex counties have a variety of law enforcement groups that may not have the same resources and staff allocations as county facilities, noted Woerner. Allowing agencies to utilize the county correctional facilities will help ensure judges, prosecutors, and public defenders are available at crucial proceedings and officers can efficiently continue their duties.

“This legislation is critical for Washington County – it ensures our legal proceedings are in compliance with the law without placing an undue burden on taxpayers or diminishing public safety,” said Robert A. Henke, chairman of the Washington County Board of Supervisors. “I commend Assemblywoman Woerner for her commitment on this vital issue.”

“I would like to thank Assemblywoman Woerner for working to get this important legislation passed for Washington County,” said Chris DeBolt, Washington County Administrator. “The ability to utilize cells in our county jail as temporary holding cells will greatly reduce the county’s cost to comply with the Hurrell-Harring Council at First Appearance stipulations.”

Assemblywoman Woerner’s legislation has also garnered local support from Washington and Essex counties’ sheriff departments.