Victor Bermudez, president of PBA Local 231, recently amplified a decision by the Atlantic County Board of Commissioners to cancel the expansion of their jail to accept Cumberland County inmates, labeling the decision “a stake in the heart of Cumberland administrators original jail shutdown plan,” and calling for a viable plan to bring all inmates in Atlantic and Hudson back to Cumberland.
“Atlantic County made a business decision,’’ said Berumudez. “They don’t want our inmates or our problems as individual county inmate populations are sharply increasing with staffing shortages statewide.”
According to a story in the February 16, 2022 edition of The Press of Atlantic City, the Atlantic County Board of Commissioners voted down a $1 million architecture contract for the expansion of the county jail. The purpose of the expansion was to house 250 inmates from Cumberland County.
“Atlantic County’s jail expansion was the lynchpin to Cumberland’s jail shutdown plan,” said Bermudez. “That’s no longer an option, and there’s no longer a plan after scrapping a new jail bonded by the taxpayers. It’s time to end this charade and begin to work on a comprehensive plan to bring inmates back while increasing jobs at the jail in Cumberland.”
Cumberland County is scheduled to spend millions of dollars exporting inmates to Atlantic and Hudson counties. Bermudez and PBA 231 have been vocal critics of these plans from the very beginning.