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Plan to alleviate overcrowding approved; sent to state DOC

Published May 10. 2013 05:03PM

A plan to alleviate the overcrowding in the Schuylkill County prison was approved by the Schuylkill County Prison Board at a special meeting held Thursday at the courthouse in Pottsville. The plan is being sent to the Pennsyvania Department of Correction (DOC) in Harrisburg, seeking their approval in order to be eligible for grants.

The DOC had given the board an ultimatum when its officials met with the board members last week to take action to alleviate the overcrowding and failure would be to prevent the county courts from placing defendants who are sentenced to serve a term of more than six months in the prison. The county would have to board prisoners in other prisons throughout the state and according to President Judge Willliam E. Baldwin, the cost to the county would be about $2 million a year.

No details of the plan was revealed but it calls for constructing a building in the recreation area within the walls of the current prison.

Warden Eugene Berdanier commented the plans shown were for different size building to house from 30 to 60 prisoners. The current population in the prison is well over 300. Berdanier said there are 59 cells housing three inmates in each cell.

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