Budget Concerns Top Clearfield Co. Prison Board Meeting

CLEARFIELD – During Thursday’s Clearfield County Prison Board meeting, the board briefly discussed being $164,000 over budget for contracted services.

President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman noted that this is due to the number of prisoners housed out of the county.

Currently there are seven housed in Jefferson County, and Ammerman remarked that this is the lowest number for out-of-county prisoners in some time.

Warden Gregory Collins added that if he could release more prisoners, he could bring the ones from Jefferson County back and save some money.

The judges have been working to lessen the number of inmates incarcerated, including delaying incarceration when possible.

Currently there are also 22 prisoners on home detention and 29 on supervised bail.

Collins said that he had over 170 inmates at the jail at different times during the past month, most recently 171 on Monday. October began with 165 inmates, with 148 committed and 143 released, ending with 166.

Ammerman added that he has been giving the probation department more leeway in regards to deciding who is placed on home detention, but often the prisoners don’t want that option because they have to serve more time and there is a charge, so they would rather wait out their time in the jail.

Due to the number of inmates, the jail has seen increased overtime for corrections officers. Collins explained that they checked the cost and it is still cheaper to have overtime than to house inmates elsewhere.

Additionally, October began with two prisoners on work release, with two added and one paroled, leaving three in the program at the end of the month.

Another high cost for the jail is medical. Ammerman mentioned a recently incarcerated inmate who experienced severe withdrawal from alcohol and drugs and had to be admitted at the hospital.

The warden noted this is a regular occurrence and mentioned another inmate who has had this happen three times this year alone, with the last time resulting in a stay in intensive care.

The prison board also extended congratulations and thanks to Thomas Young, who is retiring from his position as corrections officer after over 28 years of service. Collins noted that Young will be missed.

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