This is a press release from Essex County. Press releases are official statements that have not been independently verified.
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and the Union County Board of Commissioners announced plans to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement in which the Essex County Correctional Facility on Doremus Avenue in Newark will house Union County inmates. The agreement potentially would provide Essex County with about $11.3 million in revenue annually.
“All levels of government are facing tremendous fiscal pressures and it’s imperative that we all look for ways to pool resources, reduce expenses and generate new revenue while providing the same high quality of service to our constituents. I want to thank Governor Phil Murphy for supporting this bi-county agreement and our partners from Union County who worked with us to reach an agreement that truly benefits the taxpayers of both of our counties,” DiVincenzo said. “The bail reform policies enacted by New Jersey before the pandemic resulted in fewer people being held at county correctional facilities. This partnership is a great opportunity for Union County to find an alternative way to house their inmates without having to operate a costly facility and for Essex County to maximize the capacity of our accredited complex and generate additional revenue,” he added.
“The plan to enter into this memorandum of agreement with Union County, which would add revenue for Essex County and allow appropriate use of Essex County’s most modern facility, is one that I support. As changing conditions result in a smaller population of inmates, it only makes sense for counties to work together to ensure both fiscal and social responsibility. The proposed agreement will assist both counties financially and allow Union County’s inmates a facility in a neighboring county where the hardship to visiting families will be minimized and access to attorneys will not be compromised,” Essex County Commissioner President Wayne Richardson said.
Under the terms of the agreement, Essex County would house an average daily population of 300 inmates from Union County. Union County would pay Essex a daily rate of $104 per inmate per day that is housed at the ECCF. Essex County will provide video conferencing booths for Union County to conduct remote hearings and interviews with Union County inmates. Union County would be responsible for transporting Union County inmates to the Union County Courthouse for in-person hearings and for transporting Union County inmates back to Union County when they are released. The agreement would be for five years with an opportunity to extend the partnership.
Corrections officers who currently work for the Union County Jail have the opportunity to interview with Essex County or the NJ State Department of Corrections through the Inter-Governmental Transfer Program.
Essex County has similar agreements to house Gloucester County inmates and U.S. Marshals inmates at the Essex County Correctional Facility. It has similar partnerships to house juvenile detention residents from Passaic County, Union County and Hudson County at the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center in Newark.
Opened in 2004, the ECCF has been accredited by the American Correctional Association, which sets the standards for correctional facilities and detention centers in the United States, American territories and some foreign countries, since 2013. It also has received 100 percent compliance with the New Jersey State Department of Corrections every year since 2006 and has been accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities since 2007.