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Posted on: March 12, 2014

[ARCHIVED] $570,000 Recovered From Unclaimed Inmate Funds; Money Recommended for Youth Board Programs

Mineola, NY - As a follow-up to an audit of the Nassau County Correctional Center’s Commissary Operations Comptroller George Maragos, in cooperation with the Sheriff’s Office, transferred over $570,000 of unclaimed inmate commissary funds to the County General Fund. The unclaimed funds dating from 1990 to 2007 were discovered during a recent audit. In accordance with New York State Comptroller opinion, inmate funds unclaimed after six years can be transferred to the County.

“Inmates released from the Correctional Center do not always claim the small amounts of money in their accounts even though they are made aware as part of their checkout process,” Comptroller Maragos said. “It would seem appropriate these reclaimed funds be used for programs that keep our youth off the streets and out of jails. I will be formally recommending to the Administration and the Legislature these funds go toward increasing the funding to the Youth Board.”

Inmate accounts for Commissary use are utilized by inmates during their incarceration for incidental purchases. These include snack foods, hygiene products, writing materials, and small personal radios that an inmate may want or need that are not ordinarily provided for by the Nassau County Correctional Center.

During our audit released in December of 2013 auditors found $570,000 in unclaimed funds held in thousands of inmate accounts dating back to 1990 in the County’s Agency and Trust Fund. The average unclaimed account had approximately $26. The Comptroller’s Office subsequently requested an opinion from the County Attorney as to the proper disposition of these unclaimed funds. The County Attorney followed up with letters to both the New York State Solicitor General and New York State Comptroller. Pursuant to New York State Comptroller Opinion 88-14, who advised that unclaimed commissary funds of over six years, can be transferred to the General Fund.

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