Legislator Baskin Calls on New York State to Expedite Report on Recent Jail Deaths

(Buffalo, NY) Erie County Legislature Chair April N. M. Baskin, who has championed reforms in the Erie County Sheriff’s Office since taking office, is calling on a state agency to approach their investigation with a sense of urgency.

“We are in a state of emergency regarding detainee care at the Erie County Holding Center,” said Erie County Legislature Chair April N. M. Baskin. “I implore the state Commission of Correction to expedite their reports into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Joseph E. Bialaszewski and Connell Burrell.”

Baskin noted “These latest cases add to the public’s distrust and frustration over the Sheriff’s stonewalling and lack of transparency. While we prepare for the Commission of Correction’s final reports on the most recent deaths, I look forward to beginning an open, public recruitment process for the Erie County Corrections Specialist Advisory Board (ECCSAB) as the legislature returns from recess in September. Once it is fully operational, the ECCSAB will provide the Sheriff’s Office with professional oversight and to demand accountability.