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Board votes to recommend two more hires at prison

Published March 22. 2012 05:01PM

The Schuylkill County Prison Board, at its quarterly meeting held Wednesday in the county prison in Pottsville, voted to recommend the commissioners add two more to the security staff and proposed Jillian Datchko, of Delano, be hired as a correctional officer, and James Bruce, Shamokin, as a correctional officer, with rank of lieutenant.

Warden Eugene Berdanier announced the population peak for February was 288 inmates, including 49 females. As of Wednesday there are 244 males and 43 females housed.

In his monthly financial report Berdanier listed $12,541.46 received in revenues and expenditures totaled $342,164.76. Among the expenditures were $179,167.79 in salaries and wages and $23,339.89 in overtime pay, groceries cost $29,973.22, medical professional services $65,307.69.

The warden's report on the plant conditions included adjustment to the main entrance front gate. Switched from coal to gas boilers for heating. Repairs were made to several doors in the block area and repairs to a leaking kitchen sink. Dryers had to be repaired and a water tank replaced. A 220 power line installed in the tower area for future clean up and repairs project. Security cameras suffered a power surge recently and had to be rebooted.

The medical health provider, PrimeCare Medical Inc., of Harrisburg, reported 188 inmates sick, 36 saw a dentist, 110 seen by psychiatrists, and 14 were on suicide watch.

All beds remained full throughout the month in the Work Release Section.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Program completed 17 jobs in 20 working days of the month. One day was spent providing service to 100 senior citizens referred by the Office of Senior Services and four community service jobs and 12 jobs for the county were performed. Monthly revenue was $4,104 for room and board and $1,320 towards costs and fines.

Berdanier reported the re-entry grant was approved for funding until June 2012. The program continues to offer weekly Life Skills group at the prison to both the male and female population. Inmates who are released are helped in finding housing.

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