Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The gym of the Erie County Holding Center has been transformed into a new one stop processing center for new inmates.
Sheriff Tim Howard says the new reception area will allow for a more efficient, comprehensive intake of inmates once they enter the jail. "The inmates will now be moved into this area after being booked so they can do medical health screening, mental health screening, as well as the classification process done by the security staff," explains Howard. He says with medical personnel asking about drug and alcohol dependency, there's a better chance an inmate will give an honest answer. "If you're arrested for DWI, you'd want to deny that, and you couldn't easily admit to drugs or alcohol. If someone then goes into withdrawal without our knowledge, the health effects could sometimes result in suicide," says Howard.
Howard says he's been pushing for this for years, but admits the settlement with the federal government pushed this project forward. It should be completed within 30 days.