County Correctional Facility facing increased costs thanks to federal initiative

NORWICH – The Chenango County Correctional Facility is among hundreds of jails and prisons across the country that face the potentially costly effects of the latest stage of the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), a federal initiative originally signed into law in 2003, is for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in federal, state and local institutions. The legislation provides information resources, recommendations and funding to protect individuals from prison rape, according to the National PREA Resource Center website.

However, the latest finalizations to PREA also require sight and sound separation of juvenile and minor prisoners from adult inmates - a move that’s burdensome for the Chenango County Correctional Facility and county taxpayers. The institution currently separates adult inmates from adolescent inmates by use of a chain link fence, but sight and sound separation may require extensive renovations in the near future, explained Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting.

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