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The Chautauqua County Jail is a division of the Sheriff’s Office and under the direct responsibility of Sheriff James B. Quattrone. The Sheriff is elected by the registered voters in the county and pursuant to the New York State Constitution is responsible for the operation of a jail, county court security, and all civil matters. Providing custody and care for the inmates is a colossal task and one of the major functions of the Office of the Sheriff. In order to manage this function, the Sheriff appoints a Warden to be the chief administrative officer of the jail.
The Warden oversees the daily operation of the facility with the support of a management staff of three and six shift supervisors. The Chautauqua County Jail holds both pre-sentence detainees who are awaiting court action and convicted inmates who are sentenced to jail for a specific period of time. The jail also holds NYS Parole Violators, County Probation Violators, and persons accused of civil crimes such as failure to pay child support. The Sheriff's Office accepts inmates from the United States Marshals Office, Immigrations, and Border Patrol for which receives revenue for this service to help defray the cost of running the facility.
Other divisions of the Sheriff’s Office such as Patrol, Transportation, Communications, Court Services, Criminal Investigation, Technical Services and Accounting, Administration, and Records interact on a daily basis to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the facility. Other agencies including local, state and federal law enforcement, probation, parole and public defenders conduct business within the jail daily.
All county jails in New York State are required to comply with the New York State Minimum Standards for incarceration and the NY State Commission of Corrections oversees and enforces the standard for the entire state. Chautauqua County Jail is staffed with full-time and part time Corrections Officers who have graduated from the Corrections Academy at Jamestown Community College.
These trained professionals are held accountable to the following principles of the Sheriff’s Mission Statement: Integrity, Fairness, Compassion, and Professionalism.
Inmates committed to the county jail are charged with various levels of criminal or civil offenses that range from violations to felonies from trespassing to murder. Most all Federal or State Prisoners who are convicted and serving time in prison started their incarceration history in a county jail. This means the most dangerous and violent criminals in the penitentiary system started their jail time in some county jail.
Approximately 75% of the inmates housed are awaiting trial
Maximum sentence length an Inmate can serve is two years
Average stay is six months
Crimes for which local inmates are held range from minor violations of Local Laws to Homicide.
Inmates who have no history of violence and are sentenced for minor offenses may qualify to be a "trustee".
Trustees are given additional privileges and are allowed to work, doing a variety of jobs in the jail.
In recent decades, NY State has downsized or eliminated the Psychiatric Hospitals forcing county jails to house mentally unstable inmates who suffer from a wide variety of mental illinesses. Schizophrenic and personality disorder inmates don’t respond well to traditional treatment regiments and require intense case management. Bi-polar inmates often range from manic behavior to deep depression with suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Treatment of most mental illnesses require a more clinical setting then the jail can offer. Corrections Officers have a basic understanding, knowledge, and training on how to manage inmates with these disorders but county jails lack psychiatric staff or treatment capability and often are forced to release inmates into the community who need further guidance and care.
In addition to work details within the jail, inmates under direct supervision of Correction Officers paint and clean local fire departments, mow and rake community cemeteries, and various other community-related clean-up tasks.
Correction Officer Skills: Correction Officers work unarmed inside the jail for obvious reasons and must have excellent interpersonal communication skills. Correction Officers are trained in defensive tactics and their proper application, first aid, and many other skills to provide a safe and civil environment for themselves and the inmates that are housed within the jail. The Sheriff is required to provide Corrections Officers 365 days a year, around the clock, including weekends and holidays.