The Schuylkill County Prison Board held its final quarterly meeting of the year in the library at the county prison, located across the street from the county courthouse in Pottsville, on Wednesday.
Sheriff Joseph G. Groody questioned why does the board have to meet in the prison and not at the courthouse where it holds most of its monthly meetings. President Judge William E. Baldwin, who chairs the meeting, answered, "It is the law." The law requires four meetings a year in the prison confines.
Warden Eugene Berdanier gave his monthly report on the physical plant.
A battery back-up on the new phone system was installed; a new television set donated by the adult probation department was installed in the work release quarters; a clean air unit was installed in the classroom, repairs made to a water heater which supplies hot water to the kitchen; another roof leak was investigated; the floors of the men's and women's rest rooms were painted; and the Department of Corrections held its annual inspection and will send its findings to the prison board later.
The census report for the prison shows in November the peak number reached 291, which included 48 females. The cost of operating the prison in November was $379,443.97. Currently there are three correctional officers off-duty on extended medical leaves. Correctional Officer Robert Schlack, after 17 years, plans to retire in February.
PrimeCare Medical Inc., Harrisburg, which is under contract to provide health benefits to inmates, reported in November 148 inmates were on sick call at various times, 57 saw a dentist, and 17 were on suicide watch with no incidents reported.
Twenty-six inmates are housed in the work release quarters and paid $4,056 in room and board costs and $1,470 towards their costs and fines.
Inmates in the Vocational Rehabilitation Program completed 23 jobs including services to 100 senior citizens referred from the Office of Senior Services. Seventeen jobs were completed for the county.