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State officials seek meeting with Carbon over recent prison review

Published January 17. 2013 05:01PM

State Department of Corrections officials are asking to meet with Carbon County officials to discuss the status of the prison's recent review.

During the monthly meeting of the county prison board on Wednesday, Warden Joseph Gross announced that Kay Kishbaugh, director of inspections with the Department of Corrections, requested the meeting regarding the facility's annual inspection.

Gross said the reason for the meeting is because another state department sent the prison a certificate of compliance.

"We feel we passed and she (Kishbaugh) is saying the opposite," Gross said.

The board advised Gross to reach out to Kishbaugh and see when she would be available to meet.

The county prison, which is located on the Broad Mountain in Nesquehoning, failed to meet the state's new standards in policies during its annual inspection on Sept. 13 and 14, 2012.

During the board's September meeting, Gross explained that the state's new standards, which were rolled out last March in what is called "Inspection in a Box," had more information in it then the county's current policies provided.

"There's just not enough meat on the bones," he said of the county's policies at the time.

Gross added that the facility's cleanliness received a decent score and said the inspector called the place "immaculate."

Carbon County's prison was not the only one that did poorly under the new standards.

Gross pointed out in September that many county prisons that were inspected after the "Inspection in a Box" was implemented were in the same boat as Carbon because policies were not beefed up enough.

In other matters, the prison board discussed a proposal from the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation, a national, non-profit charitable organization that is designed to help men and women and their families in law enforcement during times of need.

The foundation asked that it be allowed to come in and speak with corrections officers to see if anyone would be interested in joining the foundation as a donor.

The board also approved the new strip search policy at the prison and further discussed preparing bid specifications for the outsourcing of the prison kitchen operations.

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