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Officials: Inmate damaged sheets

December 22, 2010
The Leader Herald

GLEN - Authorities say the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is taking a zero-tolerance approach to inmates who damage property in the jail after an inmate was charged with damaging bed sheets.

Richard E. Crandall Jr., 29, of 34 W. Main St., No. 7, St. Johnsville, was charged by Montgomery County sheriff's deputies with fourth-degree criminal mischief Tuesday.

County investigators were following up on a complaint from correctional officers that Crandall had torn and knotted bed sheets in his cell.

Crandall was arraigned in Town Court Tuesday and remains in jail.

He was incarcerated for a violation of probation, authorities said.

"The Sheriff's Office is taking a stance that any inmate who damages property will be held accountable for it," said Undersheriff Jeffery T. Smith.

Smith said with the difficult economic times, the county can't afford to continually buy new bed sheets on the taxpayer's dime.

Sheriff Michael Amato said the Sheriff's Office used to let little things go as part of running the facility.

"We can't have them doing those things anymore," he said, citing the difficult budget year and having to fight to keep jobs for corrections officers and deputies, as well as battle state mandates that have increased the cost of running the jail.

He said from now on, inmates who damage property will be charged and have to pay restitution. In addition, an internal hearing could result in a $25 fine.



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