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Prison addition plans put on hold

Published November 15. 2012 05:02PM

The plan to build an addition in the recreation area of the Schuylkill County Prison in Pottsville to alleviate the overcrowding is on hold awaiting approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Correction, it was reported by President William E. Baldwin, who chairs the county prison board, which held its monthly meeting Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

Warden Eugene Berdanier gave a monthly update on the ancient physical plant.

He reported during the hurricane which passed through the county last week the prison lost power for several hours but the generators operated without a problem which prevented any serious problems. Also he reported PP&L was very responsive since the prison is a member of the Vital Facility Program.

Renovations were completed in the work release quarters. Leaks were repaired in bathrooms and laundry rooms.

The monthly expenditure to operate the prison October was $346,133.80. The census report shows the peak was reached at 303 inmates on Oct. 12. The prison was built to hold 200.

Prime Care Medical Inc., of Harrisburg, which provides health care to inmates, reported in October 225 inmates were on sick call, 201 were seen by psychologists, 55 received dentist service, 55 attend house clinics, and 20 were on suicide watch with no incidents.

The Work Release Section had 29 inmates who have employment. They are allowed to leave the prison daily to attend their jobs but must return to prison at the end of their day's shift instead of going home until they serve out their sentence. One inmate was removed from the work release program for violation of policy. The prison collected $5,139 for room and board and $1,570 towards their fines and costs.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Program completed 23 jobs with four days spend providing service to 10 senor citizens as referred by the Office of Senior Services and also performed 12 community jobs and seven jobs for the county.

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