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Report finds Erie County's jails are among the "worst" in the state

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A new report on "problematic" jails names the Erie County Holding Center and the County Correctional Facility among the "worst" in the state.

The New York Commission of Correction report says, the facilities, along with four others across the state, "pose an ongoing risk to the health and safety of staff and inmates."

But the Sheriff's Public Information Officer, Scott Zylka, questions the COC's methodology. Zylka says, the report cites cases out of the sheriff's control and some well beyond the 2016-2017 review period.
"They talk about staffing levels from 2011-2012. Well it doesn't talk about the lack of funding that the sheriff and previous sheriffs have fought for. And now, working with the county executive and the county legislature, we have increased funding for staff levels," Zylka said.   

He points out, the report also shows the Sheriff's Office has worked with the COC and is in compliance.

"They've called cases closed, to use their terminology. So they've reached out to us in the past, had a us review it, had us offer any rebuttal. But in this one, I think, that the governor and the COC was just looking to make a big media splash," Zylka said.

But, the report advises: "Although the Commission will continue to work with the Sheriff's Office to correct identified regulatory violations and mantain compliance, further enforcement action will be instituted where warranted."     

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