Tent community in Yaphank to house Suffolk County prison inmates

A 180 by 60-foot tent in Yaphank will soon become the solution for a prison overcrowding problem in Suffolk County.

The minimum-security tent will house 120 low-level non-violent prisoners and will be monitored by two officers. County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco says it is the most cost effective way to handle overcrowding until a new jail is built.

Critics fear that violent criminals will get mixed in with inmates moving to the tent prison, since there may not be enough non-violent inmates to fill the facility to capacity. The correction officers union is also concerned that one guard will be responsible to watch 60 prisoners. The State Commission of Correction says it will inspect the facility in the next few weeks.

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