OFFICE OF FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF 2011 ANNUAL REPORT

OFFICE OF FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF

2011 ANNUAL REPORT

A Message from Sheriff Kevin A. Mulverhill

To the Honorable Franklin County Board of Legislators and the Residents of Franklin County:

I am pleased to report on my first year as Franklin County Sheriff and to give an update on the proceedings of this office.  I assumed the Office of Sheriff on January 1, 2011.  I began my involvement with the Office the day after I was elected, spending many hours with Undersheriff Patrick White and the entire staff, coming up to speed with issues facing the Corrections and Civil Divisions.

The first order of business for the Sheriff’s Office in 2011 was to re-establish security as a primary focus of all of the staff members.  The previous Sheriff, Jack Pelkey, had run a very good facility but a new set of eyes from a new administration found a need to call for policy and procedure changes in an effort to bring jail security to the forefront.  This, coupled with intense discussions with the New York State Commission of Correction has resulted in our correctional facility meeting or exceeding the minimum standard as set by the Commission.  I am happy to report the Franklin County Correctional Facility is secure and orderly.  The entire staff has responded positively to the implemented changes and the results have been outstanding.

 

Because the Sheriff’s Office was operating under a budget put into place by the last administration all purchases were scrutinized to ensure maximum impact.  We looked for ways to make our dollars go farther and reduce costs where feasible.  For example in order to follow up with the improved security we did not use funds set aside for a new vehicle and instead used those funds to upgrade the security cameras and purchase a new DVR system.  The new system will not only record all of our cameras but also hold those recordings for up to 30 days.  It should also be noted that we closed out the year with a budget surplus.

 

During 2011 admissions at the Franklin County Jail totaled 916 inmates.  A total of 92 inmates were housed out of county due to overcrowding or mental health issues.  The overcrowding issue has been greatly reduced due to the implementation of the Alternative to Incarceration (Home Monitoring) program as well as the continued cooperation of the County and Local courts as well as the District Attorney’s Office.

 

A number of changes and improvements have been made in the area of Corrections.  Corrections Officers and Deputies work schedules were adjusted to reduce overtime provide more consistent coverage and increase efficiency.  Inmates have been used to perform everyday tasks such as janitorial duties, snow removal, lawn care and painting of cell blocks.  The inmates are also being utilized to provide janitorial services to our neighbors in the Franklin County 911 Building.

 

The deputies from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department have been able to assist other agencies and provide police services at a number of events throughout the county.  It is important that the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department is recognized for more than just the operation of the County Correctional Facility and that the Sheriff’s Department will continue to assist other agencies and provide police security whenever possible.

 

The Civil department of the Sheriff’s Office is often times overlooked.  It is a small department with only 3 staff members assigned.  Despite the size of this department, it handles all civil related matters for the entire county as well as taking bail for the inmates confined to the Correctional Facility.  The fees associated with this department provide a steady revenue stream for the county.

 

The Sheriff’s Office has taken a more proactive stance in all operations during 2011.  The results can be seen in the data collected as well as the encouragement we have received from our community.  2011 could not have been successful if not for the efforts of the entire staff of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.  Their accountability, dedication and hard work are demonstrated daily and I’m proud of the integrity and professionalism they have demonstrated this past year.  My staff works with federal, state and local agencies to help make our community a better place for all.

 

Finally I wish to thank the Franklin County Board of Legislators and the residents of Franklin County for their support of this office throughout 2011.  We are working hard to continue to earn your support as we proceed through 2012 and beyond.

Sincerely,

Kevin A. Mulverhill

Franklin County Sheriff

 

OFFICE OF FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF

45 Bare Hill Road, Malone, NY 12953

 

                        Telephone: 518-483-3304

                                            518-483-3305  ext 1

                                   Fax: 518-483-3205

________________________________________________

   KEVIN MULVERHILL                                  PATRICK WHITE                                   BRUCE BANNON

                  Sheriff                                                      Undersheriff                                                       Warden

     kmulverhill@co.franklin.ny.us                         pwhite @co.franklin.ny.us                                     518-483-6795

 

 

 

FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

ANNUAL REPORT

2011

 

CORRECTIONS DIVISION

All County Correctional Facilities within the State of New York are governed by the Commission of Corrections and must comply with the Minimum Standard for inmate care as directed by that Commission.

 

Security

The Corrections Division is managed by Warden Bruce Bannon.  He along with the 5 Sergeants are charged with implementing the policies and plan of action with the prime goal of operating a safe, humane, and cost effective facility that provides a place of confinement, punishment, and an opportunity  for reflective thought and positive change.

The security staff consists of:

  • Warden – 1
  • Sergeants – 5 (3 Corrections, 2 Deputies)
  • Full Time Corrections Officers – 37
  • Full Time Deputies – 6 (Civil – 1 Court House – 1 Facility – 4)
  • Per Diem Correction Officers- 9
  • Total Security Staff specifically assigned to the Correctional Facility – 56

 

Census

The current configuration of the Franklin County Jail allows for the housing of 126 inmates.

Male Inmates can be housed accordingly:

  • Dorm 1 – 14    Dorm 2- 15
  • Dorm 3 – 15    Dorm 4 – 14
  • Dorm 7 – 7      B Block – 7
  • C Block – 7     D Block – 5
  • E Block – 7     F Block – 7
  • G Block – 6     H Block – 6.

Female inmates are housed in:

  • A Block – 4     Dorm 5 – 10.

The remaining 2 beds are medical holding cells.

 

The following is the inmate census for 2011:

  • Total housing – 916 (720 male, 196 female)
  • Temporarily housed out – 90 (39 male, 51 female)
  • Housed out to Mental Health Facility – 2
  • Admitted to Medical Hospital – 11
  • Completed Sentence – 166
  • Released by Court – 599
  • Transferred to State Prison – 67
  • Parole Violators returned to State Prison – 24
  • Federal Inmates housed – 4

 

Visits & Recreation

In the past the visiting hours for friends and families of inmates housed at the Correctional Facility were provided on Saturday and Sunday 9:00AM – 11:00AM & 1:00PM -3:00PM, Tuesday 5:30PM – 9:00PM and Thursday 9:00AM – 11:00AM, 1:00PM – 3:00PM & 5:30PM -9:00PM.  Professional visitors such as attorneys, counselors and case workers were unrestricted.  Recreation was provided every day for each block and dorm in one hour increments

During 2011, with an eye towards efficiency and compliance with the Minimum Standard, the hours of visit and recreation were adjusted.  The visiting hours were changed to:  Saturday and Sunday only 9:00AM – 11:00AM, 1:00PM – 3:00PM & 5:00PM – 9:00PM.  The same hours apply to professional visitors Monday through Friday.  New signs were posted in the lobby as well as the visiting room listing the items not allowed and the behavior that will not be tolerated. The new hours allow for improved use of staff, reduced overtime costs and still meet the Minimum Standard.  The recreation hours were changed to Monday through Friday one and a half hours for each block and dorm.  Officers used for recreation during the week are now used for visiting hours on the weekends.

 

Transportation

It is the responsibility of the Sheriff’s Department to transport inmates to necessary appointments and provide security at those venues while the inmates are out of the Correctional Facility.  These “trips” include:  County Court, 21 Local Courts, Family Court, Drug Court, Medical, Dental, and Mental Health just to name a few.  In order to conduct these transports the Sheriff’s Department maintains a fleet of 7 Marked Ford Crown Victoria cruisers and 1 twelve passenger Dodge Van.  In 2011 the Sheriff’s Department conducted over 1,300 trips.  That averages out to 5 trips per day.  These transports have to be completed with staff above and beyond those used to maintain security within the Correctional Facility.

The location and number of trips:

  • Court House – 446      Malone Town Court – 152
  • Saranac Lake – 50       Tupper Lake – 42
  • Bombay – 30               Chateaugay – 19
  • Moira – 18                   Fort Covington – 17
  • Constable – 9              Westville – 7
  • Brighton – 6                Dickson – 5
  • Waverly – 3                 Santa Clara – 2
  • Duane – 2                    Bangor – 2
  • Bellmont – 1               Brandon – 1
  • Alice Hyde – 182        Dr. Visits – 30
  • P’burgh Dental – 34    Albany Med – 3
  • North Star – 57           Psych Centers – 5
  • NYSDOCS – 45         Other County Jails – 136
  • Misc (funerals etc) – 11

With these various trips we moved over 1,815 inmates using 1,794 Officers and traveled over 53,000 miles.

 

Kitchen and Food Service Operations

With the facility capacity of 126 inmates the kitchen has able to prepare, serve and accommodate 3 meal periods every 24 hours.  The kitchen is staffed with 2 full time cooks, Deborah Parnapy and Merle Jock, as well as 2 Per Diem cooks, Amy Crippen and Helen Marshall.  The cooks are assisted with meal preparation and service by up to 6 inmate trustees.  The average daily inmate population for 2011 was 113.  That amounts to 123,735 meals served.  Also kitchen staff and inmate trustees are responsible for the cleaning of the kitchen area in compliance with federal, state and local standards.  Our menus are reviewed by a dietician to ensure compliance with the nutritional needs of the inmates.   In 2011 the Sheriff’s Department cut down the cost of meals by entering into a contract with the New York State Department of Corrections allowing the county correctional facility to participate in the “Cook Chill” program.  NYSDOCS prepares a large number of meals at one facility and then ships those prepared food items out to NYSDOCS facilities across the state.  The Sheriff’s Department is able to purchase that same pre-prepared food for consumption at the county facility at a considerable savings.

 

Educational Services

The Malone Central School District provides instructional and testing services for juvenile inmates and Franklin-Clinton-Essex BOCES provide adult education.  Alicia Benware, employee of BOCES acts as a Transition Counselor, teaching life skills assisting with career choices.  Marcia Raville and David McQuinn, from MCSD, provide the majority of educational resources needed.  Inmates work toward a High School Diploma or GED during incarceration.  On site GED tests are offered.

For the 2011-2012 school year:

  • 4 Inmates earned their GED (100% pass rate)
  • 1 Inmate completed a Regents Exam which allowed him to complete the requirements to obtain a High School Diploma

For the 2010-2011 school year:

  • 54 Inmates participated in the Incarcerated Youth Education Program (under 21)
  • The GED pass rate for this program is 88% compared to the State rate of 59%
  • 26 Students in the Incarcerated Youth Education Program were identified with learning disabilities
  • 3 Inmates received tutoring towards a High School Diploma

 

Medical Services

The Minimum Standard for the care of inmates mandates that medical staff be available to meet the needs of the inmate population held in county correctional facilities.  As a result of being placed in the custody of the county any required medical services provided for the care of inmates is paid with county funds.  The medical staff is responsible for all the medical needs of the inmate population.  They will observe everything from the common cold to pre-natal care to life threatening or debilitating illnesses or injury.  The Sheriff’s Department meets the medical needs of the inmates and cuts medical costs by contracting physician services out to Carl Sherwin MD as well as maintaining 3 nurses on staff.  Kayla Ignaczak RN, Brenda Holcombe RN, and Cassandra Jordan LPN monitor the medical needs of the Franklin County Inmates and provide day to day nursing to the inmate population.  Several of the tasks completed by the nurses include, but not limited to: issuing over the counter medication, issue prescription medication, provide physicals, make appointments to outside medical facilities, assist with care and treatment, provide updates to the physician and keep medical records just to name a few.  During 2011 medical staff performed over 510 physicals, arranged over 250 medical appointments and took inmate blood samples as well as EKGs to cut down on trips to the hospital.  Any medical emergencies that cannot be treated at the correctional facility are referred to the Emergency Room at the Alice Hyde Medical Center.

 

Mental Health & Drug Abuse Services

North Star Mental Health provides mental health services for the inmates incarcerated in the county facility.  Nicole Soulia is the on-site counselor and she administers the program that provides ongoing individual support, suicidal and homicidal risk assessment, crisis, psychiatric referrals, advocacy and cooperation with local and state providers of various services.  In 2011 835 inmates were contacted and interviewed by mental health services.  52 inmates participated in anger management groups and an additional 29 inmates took part in “Common Sense Parenting Class”.  Counselors also assisted with the transition from jail to society by helping with appointments and applications for public assistance, providing plans for success in conjunction with mental health and chemical dependency clinics and making referrals to the medication grant program.

St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation Center provides substance abuse programs for the inmates housed at the county facility.  Counselors, Eddy Locke and Erica Svenningsen are part of the team that updated and revamped the facility program in June of 2011.  Since that time they have completed over 700 inmate interactions, including individual sessions and groups.  They have also developed 140 clients, had 23 inmates released to St. Joseph’s outpatient clinic, 18 inmates released to inpatient programs and increased the participation in the weekly group sessions.

North Star and St. Joseph’s are providing programs that are getting inmates the help and guidance they will need to get back into society and help keep them out of the correctional facility in the future.

 

Inmate Commissary

Commissary is a profit based unit with fiduciary responsibilities over inmate funds.  The primary goal of commissary operations is to provide high quality products and services to those incarcerated in the County Correctional Facility.  The commissary also provides funding to support inmate activities and recreation.  Inmates are given the opportunity to purchase such items as hygiene products, writing utensils and snacks.  In October of 2011 Swanson Commissary services was contracted to provide commissary items and record keeping services for the Franklin County inmates.  Deposits into inmate accounts are made with money possessed by the inmate at admission or relatives or friends can make deposits through a reverse ATM located in the lobby of the Correctional Facility.  Contracting out this service has provided valuable space within the facility and we no longer maintain a large inventory of items to be sold.  Also the record keeping and accountability of inmate funds has been vastly improved.  Profits from the commissary account are used to pay the salary of a part time commissary clerk, Mrs. Brenda Patnode, and for the purchase of items that will benefit the inmate population.  Expenditures must be approved by the Commission of Corrections.  These funds are generally put towards items that should not be on the burden on the tax payers of Franklin County, such as basic cable subscription, televisions, magazines and recreational equipment.

 

Alternative to Incarceration/Home Monitoring

In January of 2011 the Franklin County Correctional Facility was operating above the maximum capacity of inmates.  We were forced to house between 6 and 10 inmates per day out to surrounding county facilities simply because all of the beds here were full. The number of inmates in the custody of the Sheriff was averaging 133 per day.  The daily cost of housing inmates out of county averaged $100.00 per inmate, per day.  The burden on the taxpayers and the Facility budget was overwhelming.  The Sheriff in conjunction with District Attorney Derek Champagne agreed to pilot an Alternative to Incarceration program that would consist of a private contractor/coordinator that would act as a liaison between the Sheriff, District Attorney and the Local Criminal Courts and find inmates that were low level offenders that might be eligible to be housed within their residence and monitored using an electronic bracelet.  A new program was developed by the Sheriff and the District Attorney and funded through seized drug assets from the District Attorney’s Office.  The cost of monitoring an inmate on an electronic bracelet is approximately $4.50 per day.  The first inmate began participating in the program on February 3, 2011.  During 2011 a total of 65 inmates were placed on home monitoring and 5,647 inmate days were saved by the use of the program.  This calculates to well over $500,000.00 saved by the reduction in out of county housing, overtime for jail staff, transportation costs, food expenses and medical costs.  Four inmates placed in the program experienced a violation and were returned to the correctional facility and 73 inmates were interviewed and denied access to the program for various reasons.  By the end of 2011 the program was averaging between 18 and 20 participants per day.  This program has resulted in obvious savings and has not been a threat or danger to the general public.  The facility has been able to maintain adequate space for inmates and by the end of 2011 the average daily population was 105 inmates.   In July of 2011 the Franklin County Board of Legislators agreed to fund the program and a request for proposal for the program contractor was issued.  Mr. John Fountain was the only person to respond to the RFP and was awarded the contract.  Mr. Fountain provides applications to inmates and conducts interviews and investigates the potential residences to be used.  That information is then presented to the Sheriff, District Attorney and Presiding Magistrate for their consideration.  Mr. Fountain does not select the individuals for the program.  The selection must be a unanimous consent of the Sheriff, DA, and Judge in order for an inmate to be released to home monitoring.  Thus far the program has been a tremendous success.

 

Facility Maintenance

The Franklin County Correctional Facility was constructed in 1994.  Now in its 18th year it requires routine maintenance and also as with any aging structure some bigger maintenance issues do occasionally occur.  In 2011 Mr. Randy Barney and Mr. Al Arnold were responsible for the care and upkeep of the facility.  Unfortunately due to budgetary cutbacks Mr. Arnold was laid off in October of 2011.  Despite this setback the maintenance staff have completed or assisted with numerous projects throughout the facility.  On three separate occasions Building Maintenance Staff was called upon to oversee emergency repairs to the facility.  In the first instance a cooling unit was not working and the computer equipment that requires climate control was in danger of overheating.  The second emergency situation was discovered by the maintenance staff while on regular rounds they detected an odor of propane gas.  A leak of a propane line feeding a hot water heater was discovered.  The source of the gas was turned off; repairs were scheduled and later completed.  The third emergency came about during the month of October when heating the facility on a daily basis started.  Maintenance staff discovered one of the four air handlers for the facility was not functioning. Facility windows cannot be opened to allow fresh air from the outside so a system of air handlers circulates fresh air into the facility.  A malfunctioning air handler results in parts of the facility not being heated/cooled and can cause unsanitary conditions from the lack of circulated air.  Maintenance staff diagnosed the problem and oversaw the repairs.  Some of the other projects completed by the maintenance staff include:

  • Maintain a tool control and preventative maintenance program
  • Troubleshoot and repair over 100 electrical mechanical doors, sliders and gates
  • Make repairs to electrical, plumbing, and lighting systems in the facility
  • Provide necessary service for 96 toilets and sinks, 50 showers an industrial kitchen and laundry
  • Installation of an exercise device in the recreation area
  • Movement of offices and materials to provide better use of space
  • Garbage removal and recycling
  • Tilling of the inmate garden
  • Redirecting video cameras and running new telephone and computer wires

 

It has been very difficult for one maintenance person to properly maintain both the correctional facility and the 911 building but thus far he has been successful.

 

Miscellaneous Projects

Throughout 2011 the Franklin County Correctional Facility has undergone a number of changes that assist with the security and the day to day operation of the facility.  Some of these projects include:

  • Video and DVR upgrade – All facility cameras are recording and all recordings are being held for 30 days.
  • Inmates are completing lawns and grounds duties for both the correctional facility and the 911 Building.  These duties include lawn care, landscaping and snow removal
  • Inmates are completing janitorial tasks (cleaning, sweeping, mopping, etc.) in both buildings as well.
  • An inmate garden was established and provided fresh vegetables to the facility as well as the nursing home and several Adult Centers
  • Inmates filled sandbags that were used for the flooding in the southern end of the county.
  • A computerized Law Library system was put into place allowing inmates up to date access to legal material and requiring less staff to supervise inmates using the system.

CIVIL DIVISION

New York State law requires that the Sheriff in each county have a Civil Office specifically to serve the needs of the county residents in regard to civil matters such as evictions, collection of bail, serving of subpoenas and summons, etc.  The Sheriff is authorized to collect monies by way of income and property executions.  The Sheriff also has the authority to seize property and sell it at a Sheriff’s Sale.  The proceeds from the Sheriff’s Sale are then applied to satisfy the judgment.  The Civil Office here in Franklin County is staffed by Mary Cartier, Senior Account Clerk, Shawna O’Connor, Clerk, and Justin Bannon, Sheriff’s Deputy.  The hours of operation are from 8:00AM to 4:00PM Monday through Friday (except legal holidays).  Prior to 2011 Deputy Bannon carried out his duties in an unmarked vehicle and not in a uniform.  In January of 2011 he was directed to wear a deputy uniform and operate a marked Franklin County Sheriff vehicle.  This move was intended to make him more recognizable to the community as a police officer and assist in supporting his authority when executing warrants and subpoenas.

In 2011 this office processed 1,117 documents and executed or served 894 of them.  The Civil Office also showed receipts totaling over $1,655,000.00, they collected $559,000.00 in bail monies and provided almost $104,000.00 directly to the County Treasurer for fees and poundage collected.

In April of 2011 the Sheriff requested that NYS Sheriffs’ Association conduct a policy audit of the Franklin County Civil Office.  Civil Officers from several other Sheriff’s Departments conducted an audit of the Policy and Procedure in place for our Civil Office.  Overall the Franklin County Civil Office was performing very well but the auditors did make several recommendations, most of which have been put into place.  Also during 2011 Deputy Bannon received one week of training for Civil Office staff conducted by the New York State Sheriffs’ Association.  As a result of recommendations from Mrs. Cartier, Mrs. O’Connor and Deputy Bannon some of the civil fees have been raised to be more consistent with other counties across the state.

The Civil Department is further charged with issuing Sheriff’s Identifications to those who apply.  Once proper identification is confirmed a picture of the subject is obtained and an identification card is issued.  The Civil Office is able to process Sheriff’s IDs on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00AM – 2:00PM and the fee is $10.00.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Civil Office is mandated to serve and execute in a timely and professional manner all civil process and mandates directed to the Sheriff, within the County of Franklin.  The Sheriff’s Civil Office will lawfully collect, maintain and disburse monies, will maintain related records as required and perform such other functions as may be directed by the Sheriff

DEPUTIES

Most of the security staff of the correctional facility fall under the category of Corrections Officer however there are a total of 8 Sheriff’s Deputies that are part of the staff as well.  All of these deputies are recognized police officers and all have completed the 26 week Municipal Police Training Course.  The deputies perform the same tasks as correction officers while working within the facility however they can be called upon to perform tasks that would normally be assigned to a police officer.

One deputy is permanently assigned to the Civil Department and his duties are to execute the evictions and orders associated with that department.  A second deputy is assigned full time to the Department of Social Services within the Franklin County Court House.  He is responsible for safety and security in the area of DSS as well as providing assistance to other departments or agencies with police related matters.

The remaining 6 deputies are assigned to the correctional facility.  In 2011 Sheriff’s Deputies were utilized throughout the county at several events and emergencies, including:

  • Saranac Lake Winter Carnival
  • Tupper Lake Flooding
  • Memorial Day Parade
  • STOP DWI Checkpoints
  • St. Regis Falls Field Day/Fireworks
  • Franklin County Fair
  • Tupper Lake Woodsmen’s Day
  • Building demolition – Village of Malone
  • Power outage – Village of Malone
  • Carry out contracted services for transportation of at-risk juveniles for Franklin County Dept. of Social Services

During all of the events and activities the deputies performed admirably and represented the Sheriff’s Department as well as Franklin County in a manner that we can be proud of.

MISCELLANEOUS

During 2011 the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department has been engaged in activities that are beneficial to the local communities and reflect well on Franklin County.

In April of 2011, Corrections Officers Luke Cromp and Carl Demers attended training and received certification as Child Safety Seat Technicians.  Since that time they have attended several Car Seat Checks throughout the county and provided car seat checks at the facility by appointment.

During 2011 the Franklin County Benevolent Association made the decision to raise the funds to purchase a Child Safe Identification System.  This system produces an identification card containing a photo, fingerprint and other pertinent information of a child and maintains that information in a data base.   That information can then be easily accessed and moved to the Amber Alert System in the event the child is reported missing.  Corrections Officer Bruce Barney has been able to borrow a unit from St. Lawrence County when needed and has provided identification for some of Franklin County’s children at several events.  The Benevolent Association is almost half way to reaching their goal of $5,000.00 for the purchase of a unit that will be used exclusively here in Franklin County.

2012 GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department accomplished a great deal during 2011 and have demonstrated that good group of hard working people can produce outstanding results.  Despite the accomplishments in 2011 we realize there is more work to be done.  Here is a list of just some of the things we would like to complete in 2012:

  • Continue efforts in saving taxpayer dollars by reviewing daily operations, ensuring maximum efficiency.
  • Start an inmate work program.
  • Implement a Video Conference system with the Court House thus reducing the number of trips out of the facility
  • Increase in house training for facility staff
  • Establish a Sheriff’s Office website
  • Provide police services wherever and whenever requested
  • Provide checks on registered sex offenders residing in this county
  • Install a new fire alarm system in the facility
  • Complete contract negotiations with union representing staff
  • Move towards partial implementation of staffing requirements set by the Commission of Corrections
  • Sheriff’s Benevolent Association reach fund raising goal and purchase Child Safe System.
  • Move toward accreditation of the Civil Department
  • Update the Policy and Procedure manual for the entire department

Implement a paperless system as part of the Jail Management System

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