BC Jail expansion project moves forward

By Brandi Bailey

June 11, 2014 Updated Jun 11, 2014 at 7:10 PM EDT

Town of Dickinson,NY (WBNG Binghamton ) The expansion of the Broome County Jail has been talked about for years. It's finality has arrived and plans for construction are in motion.

Construction on the jail expansion will start in February of 2016.

That's only after the drawings are approved by the New York State Commission of Corrections.

Broome County Sheriff David Harder says at its most crowded point, the jail was costing the county a significant amount of money.

"We were paying out almost $800,000 for boarding inmates out. So we lost almost $2 million," Harder said.

Sheriff Harder points out that it wasn't always the case. In fact, there was a point where the jail was making money.

In 2012, the Broome County Jail was able to generate over a $1 million in revenue for the county. That was all based off of housing inmates in New York State.

"If we have enough room, we'll board inmates back in and make a revenue for the county," Harder said.

The expansion would also help to fix the jail's medical unit. The Commission of Corrections has been pushing for the county to fix and expand its medical unit, separating male and female units.

Sheriff Harder says overcrowding is not just an issue in Broome County, it's a problem throughout the state and federal prison system. It's only expected to get worse.

"They have prisons for those who have been sentenced, so they count on the county jails all over the United States to board their inmates until they go to trial," Harder said.

The Broome County Jail is currently boarding two inmates from Jefferson County, NY

Bids for the expansion project will go out in November of 2015 and one will be accepted by December of 2015.