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Erie Co. Holding Center seeking cable upgrade

Posted at 11:43 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-02 08:14:11-04

It’s a place many people fear but for Mark Breslin it was a harsh reality that began when he was 15-years-old.

“I spent a lot of time in Alden,” Breslin told 7 Eyewitness News. “Unfortunately I’ve been in and out multiple times.”

After more than 50 arrests, Breslin, who was released 20 months ago, is now a free man but will never forget trying to occupy his time while behind bars.

“When you’re in the holding center or Alden, an officer has control of that and 98 percent of the time you can’t hear the TV and you aren’t watching what you want to watch.”

Breslin says despite what is portrayed in the movies, inmates at the county level who choose to pass time watching TV don’t have much of a say on what they watch. Often, as many as 30-60 inmates are watching one TV together.

Breslin says he was surprised to learn that the Erie County Sheriff’s Office is looking to upgrade the current cable lines and enter into a contract with DISH.

According to the proposed resolution, the office is seeking a contract with DISH Network because the current cable lines are aging which is causing poor picture quality and limited reception.

The sheriff’s office says the installation of Dish will cost a little under $44,000 and will have no financial impact on taxpayers.

The installation and monthly costs will be paid from the inmate commissary “welfare account."

We reached out to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and was told the proposal is still being discussed with legislators.

This proposal goes before the Public Safety committee on April 7th.