The Glens Falls Post-Star is reporting that New York state is recognizing Warren County for having a system to keep county jail inmates from collecting unemployment benefits. The state comptroller’s office found last year that in five counties they studied (including Warren County), inmates received $325,000 in unwarranted unemployment payments.
The county sheriff’s office’s information technology director, Michael Colvin, developed a program that allows the jail’s inmate roster to communicate with the state Department of Labor to let the agency know of any inmates who might be receiving unemployment.
Interestingly, the comptroller’s office study found inmates were continuing to receive unemployment by making phone calls from jails; the office has recommended counties set their jail phone systems to block calls to DOL numbers. It also found that it’s taking the DOL up to four weeks to discontinue unemployment benefits.