A Carbon County Emergency Management Agency proposal to house male prisoners in Jim Thorpe’s Memorial Hall in an emergency situation is not drawing favorable reviews from the town’s borough council.

EMA officials sent the borough a letter asking council if it could temporarily locate male prisoners from the Carbon County Correctional Facility at Memorial Hall if the prison needed to be evacuated due to a fire or other disaster.

If Jim Thorpe agreed to the request, it is likely prisoners wouldn’t be at Memorial Hall for long.

“We have a Carbon County security team including the sheriff and prison warden that has monthly meetings and a short-term plan for prisoners is one of the issues that came up,” EMA director Mark Nalesnik said.

“Really what we were looking at is a temporary place to house inmates while we make arrangements to get them to another prison or secured facility.”

Nalesnik said if there is an emergency and prisoners would end up at an evacuation facility, they would be sent somewhere else as space is available.

“It might be six prisoners here and five prisoners there as we can find a location for them,” he said.

Council discussed the request at its workshop meeting Thursday night, but expressed concerns with potential security issues.

“I would probably stay away from that,” said Councilman Jay Miller. “God forbid someone comes in here and gets out. There would be chaos.”

Nalesnik said prison guards and officials from the sheriff’s office would maintain security at Memorial Hall with assistance from state and local police.

Officials also have eyes on the recreation center in Nesquehoning for female inmates. Both municipalities would have to agree before the plans could move forward.

“This isn’t the end-all be-all,” Nalesnik said. “The committee is also looking at other locations they may identify.”

If council’s conversation Thursday holds true, Memorial Hall will likely not be a relocation option.

“I know what the public opinion on this is going to be,” Miller said. “With a park right out here, I just don’t think it’s a good fit.”