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State Seizes County Jail

On January 19, 1996, nearly 200 New Jersey state corrections officers, dressed in full riot gear, descended on the Hudson County Jail and seized control of the facility. The jail's warden was removed, the facility was locked down, and every cell was searched for contraband. Harold Beyer, assistant state commissioner of corrections, said the reason for the raid was contraband and the county's inability to fully secure the facility. Approximately 900 of the jail's 2,200 prisoners are convicted state felons being held on behalf of the state.

The state has been involved in a series of legal disputes with Hudson County over payments made by the state to reimburse the county for housing state prisoners. Governor Christie Whitman said those disputes were totally unrelated to the Jan. 19 action, and that Hudson County would reimburse the state for its costs in the jail lockdown. PLN thinks the seizure may have been intended as a dramatic reminder, however, that the state has more "hired guns" than the county. Nothing like a display of force to settle a financial dispute, eh?

Source: Corrections Digest

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