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Electronic fingerprinting system up and running at Carbon County prison

Published October 28. 2010 05:03PM

An electronic fingerprinting and photographing system is up and running at the Carbon County Correctional Facility in Nesquehoning.

During the monthly meeting of the county prison board, Warden Joseph Gross announced that first phase of the Live Scan Booking Station and Commonwealth Photo Imaging Network is operational.

He then asked Deputy Warden Timothy Fritz to explain about what has been going on with the system.

Fritz explained that since the equipment became available to individuals with summaries on Oct. 1, 12 summons cases have been handled by prison officers.

He noted that it has run smoothly so far, adding that once the officers are well-versed in the process, it should take them about 15 to 20 minutes to complete the fingerprinting session.

The next step the county prison board needs to work on to complete the system is installing a secure door for the room that houses Live Scan.

Charles Neff, maintenance supervisor at the correctional facility, said he spoke with Thomas Crabtree of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates of Mechanicsburg, the company that designed the prison, and asked if the company would write the specs for the door.

Since then, Crabtree's associate, Brian Haines, has been working on drawing up the specs, which will be used during the bidding process.

Officials hope to install the door within the next few months.

The county prison board has been working to get the Live Scan Booking Station and Commonwealth Photo Imaging Network up and running since June 2008, when the county prison board agreed to accept the piece of machinery from the Pennsylvania Police Chiefs Association (PCPA). The cost of the equipment if purchased, would have been $66,600.

Since then, the county has had to bid out a project to run fiber optics for the system, as well as install a new underground conduit from the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency to the county prison, both located on the Broad Mountain in Nesquehoning, after learning that the current conduit that runs between the two facilities had sprung a leak and could potentially create a problem. BCI Communications of Monmouth, N.J., submitted the low bid of $27,778. This project was not in the initial setup cost estimates.

Officials also applied for a federal grant through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to cover 75 percent or $29,057 of the costs for 2011.

In other prison matters, Gross updated the board on the camera system at the prison.

"The camera system at the facility has now gotten to the point where it no longer is functional with our needs here," he said, adding that he requested estimates from various companies to replace the camera system.

The board discussed what would need to be done to update the system and decided that they will need to find someone to write the specs for the project, since it is expected to come in over $10,000.

Mary Fairchild, administrative assistant, was instructed to submit an amendment to the prison's proposed 2011 budget for the project.

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