Albany Jail Plans for Security Upgrades after Risk Assessment

Albany Jail Plans for Security Upgrades after Risk Assessment

The Albany County jail is getting $283,000 in security upgrades as a result of the escape this summer of two convicted murders from a North Country prison, the Times Union reported.

Sheriff Craig Apple said Richard Matt and David Sweat’s June 6 escape from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora spurred his office to probe security weaknesses at the jail complex off Albany Shaker Road, especially the tiers of the jail that have been in use for up to 90 years.

Included in the spending for upgrades will be a new coil of razor wire on the jail’s perimeter fence, new security cameras, welding repairs to interior cell bars and for new, much more sensitive metal detectors through which inmates will have to pass as they move around the facility.

“We took a really good risk assessment of our correctional facility, and we said, ‘You know what, let’s harden up some areas.’” Apple said.

The new stretch of razor will sit about 6 feet below the two existing bands at the top of the 20-foot fence.

“If somebody tries to climb it, it’s not going to be a pretty picture,” the sheriff said.

Apple said the internal review focused on parts of the jail that date to 1931, especially 12-by-18-inch vents where the walls meet the floor in most cells.

The new metal detectors should also cut down on contraband moving through the jail, because the facility’s existing detectors are not sensitive enough to pick up small pieces of metal often used in homemade weapons.

The jail’s last attempted escape was in 2007 and the inmate was caught before ever leaving the premises.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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