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Prison experiences coal fire trouble

Published December 23. 2010 05:00PM

Coal fire trouble at the Schuylkill County Prison was experienced between December 11 and 20 with the fire going out a number of times, was the information received from Warden Eugene Berdanier to members of the Schuylkill Count Prison Board at the fourth quarterly meeting held at the county prison Wednesday morning. The board also meets monthlly in the courthouse.

Fire went out December 11 and off and on during the next few days forcing transfer to heating the prison by natural gas. The commissioners had made provisions to heat the prison by gas during the warm months and coal during the winter as a cost saving means. Berdanier reported after repairs were made the furnace was now running fine on coal.

Ashley Henne-Mroczka, mental health coordinator for Prime Care Medical Inc., Harrisburg, which provides health care to inmates and Stephanie Rice, Re-Entry Case Management,Clinical Outcomes Group Inc., spoke briefly about their programs.

The cost of operating the prison in November totaled $368,089.943. Some of the costs were, salaries and wages of staff, $211,263.52; overtime, $16,672.18; materials and supplies, $12,124.29; clothing and bedding, $897.50; groceries, $28,773.89; medical supplies, $1,045.44; fuel, water and sewer, $11,812.22; professional services, $58,120.16 and maintenance and repairs, $10,399.46.

The prison population as of this date was 239 males and 49 females. Inmates who saw psychiatrist totaled 78 last month, psychologist, 250; mental health workers, 183; dentists, 45 and inmates on suicide watch, 17, with no incidents. Twenty-four inmates on work release and paid $5,5267 for room and board and $2,460 towards their fines and costs. The Vocational Rehabililtatin Program completed 22 jobs during the month with four days spent providing service to 75 senior citizens referred by the Office of Senior Services.

Two correctional officers retired, Joseph Yesavage after 17 years of service and Barbara Schwawrtz after18 years of service.

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