Morris County Approves Housing Somerset County Inmates

Published on June 18, 2024

Morris County Correctional Facility

Taxpayers Save Under Another Major Shared Services Agreement

The Morris County Board of County Commissioners has finalized a shared services agreement under which Somerset County corrections inmates will be lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility for the next five years.

The arrangement, unanimously approved by a board vote last week, followed a contract approval by the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners on May 31 and the orderly transfer of nearly 80 Somerset County inmates into the Morris County facility between June 3 and June 6.

“Somerset County saw a need to change their operational approach to their correctional facility, and we saw an opportunity to assist them.  This triple net lease arrangement is aligned with a shared services approach and therefore benefits the Morris County taxpayer,” said Sheriff James Gannon.

“It cuts operational expenses for Morris County while ensuring those in custody from Somerset County are well cared for. It gives access to pre-trial detainees and sentenced people of Somerset County to all our proven services like the Hope Wing, the Morris County Re-entry program, educational and vocational training, and other programs aimed at reducing recidivism.  Our state-of-the-art facility, professional staff, and forward thinking makes this possible.  I am very proud that the Morris County Sheriff's Office can support the needs of our communities, and beyond, while benefiting Morris County,” the sheriff added.

Somerset County began reducing operations at its correction facility in Somerville last year, when its inmate population declined, and it transferred approximately 100 inmates to the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center under a short-term agreement. The agreement with Morris County will continue until May 2029.

“Morris County continues to be one of the safest counties and our Correctional Facility is accredited as one of the best in the nation. These factors, combined with the impact of bail reform, have resulted in a decline in inmate population, which puts us in a position to accept additional inmates. A shared services opportunity allows Sussex County -- and now Somerset County -- to reduce their costs, while providing additional revenue for Morris County. This mutually beneficial outcome is exactly why we have shared services agreements,” said Christine Myers, Director of the Morris County Board of County Commissioners.

Morris County is in its fifth year of a shared services agreement with Sussex County, and currently holds about 55 inmates from that neighboring county. Morris County’s correctional facility has a capacity to hold 524 inmates, and the current facility population with inmates from all three counties is at about 304.

“We work hard at finding ways to make our county government more efficient to the benefit of the Morris County taxpayers. This shared service agreement with Somerset County is the latest of many such agreements we have negotiated over the years. These shared services save tax dollars while offering residents the best of government services,” said Stephen Shaw, Deputy Director of the Morris County Commissioners.

Morris County has been able to save tax dollars through approximately 100 shared service agreements with government agencies, most with local municipalities, involving services ranging from emergency dispatching and health services to housing troubled juveniles.


Photo: Exterior view of Morris County Correctional Facility located at 43 John St. in Morris Township.




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