Orleans County – Sheriff’s Department Inmate and Commissary Accounts (2017M-209)

Issued Date
February 02, 2018

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the Department’s processes and procedures over inmate and commissary accounts for the period January 1, 2015 through May 10, 2017.


Orleans County is located in western New York State and has a population of approximately 43,000. The County Legislature serves as the policy-making body and is composed of seven elected Legislators. Budgeted appropriations for 2017 totaled approximately $66 million.

Key Findings

  • The Sheriff’s Department did not properly account for and manage inmate and commissary accounts.
  • Neither the former nor the current Sheriff prepared monthly accountabilities for the inmate and the commissary accounts.
  • Department officials incorrectly made disbursements from the inmate account for shared expenditures and made disbursements such as personal inmate telephone charges from the commissary account.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that commissary surcharges are used only for inmate welfare and rehabilitation.
  • Ensure that accurate monthly accountabilities are prepared and reviewed.
  • Ensure that disbursements are made from the appropriate accounts.