Inmate Population Tops Prison Board Meeting

CLEARFIELD – The number of inmates housed at the Clearfield County Jail continues to be a concern discussed at the Clearfield County Prison Board meetings.

During yesterday’s regular meeting, the board learned that December started with 149 inmates with 119 committed, 116 released and an average daily population of 152.

December ended with 153 inmates housed. Warden Gregory Collins reported that as of this week, there are 159 inmates at CCJ with 13 housed in Jefferson County and five in other locations, bringing the total incarcerated for Clearfield County to 177.

There were 19 inmates placed on home detention during December, as well. Later in the meeting, President Judge Fredric Ammerman, who is board chairman, noted that it has helped to make home detention compulsory if an inmate is eligible.

He said in the past, inmates have not wanted to serve home detention for a variety of reasons, including that home detention is often a longer sentence, but now they do not have a choice.

Collins also reported they had two inmates on work release in December. One was removed and two added, with the number totaling three at the end of December.

Ammerman remarked on the number of people who do not have jobs where they could be part of work release, reflecting on how the jail population, crime, etc. have changed in the past 30 years.

Ammerman also noted after the housing report that when he reads police logs in the newspaper, he notices that many people the police arrest have several outstanding warrants, which often results in longer sentences than what they would have received for just the one incident.

Collins added that the jail often has to hold people who need to be transferred to another county or to a state facility until that person can be moved.

The board briefly reorganized and voted to keep the same officers, with Ammerman as chairman, Commissioner John Sobel as vice chairman and Controller Tom Adamson as secretary.

Meeting dates will continue to be the second Thursday of each month at 12 p.m. Most meetings will be held at the county administration offices on Locust Street; however, the meetings for March 8, June 14, Sept. 13 and Dec. 13 will be held at the jail.

Sobel also mentioned that he had talked with the owner of Clearfield Wholesale Paper Co., Joel Peterson, about ways the jail can reduce cost when ordering products from CWP.

He learned that, despite how much the jail orders, it still is not enough to make bulk ordering cost effective.

Peterson said he would be willing to meet with board members to discuss the matter further and the board agreed to have Sobel, Collins and anyone else who might be interested to meet with Peterson.

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