Inspection Report Tops Prison Board Meeting

CLEARFIELD – The annual inspection report topped discussion of the Clearfield County Prison Board meeting on Tuesday.

President Judge Fredric Ammerman, who is chairman of the board, noted that the inspection was performed by the state Department of Corrections on May 2 and the facility had 23 citations and 29 deficiencies in noncompliance with Title 37, Chapter 95 standards.

Ammerman noted that this is unusual for CCJ, as the jail normally has very good inspection reports. Normally a jail is given 30 days to correct the problems before the report is final, and he called the DOC to request an extension of 120 days, which was denied.

He said he believed the problem stemmed from vacancies in the administrative staff as well as new staff members being trained and Warden Gregory Collins agreed with this assessment.

When asked what this report means for the jail, Collins said right now it will have little effect. The DOC expects them to clear up the problems prior to the next inspection in 2020.

If a jail has three years of failed inspections, the DOC then steps in and takes over, but Collins said he has never heard of that actually happening in the years he has worked in corrections.

Collins is in the process of interviewing candidates for the position of deputy warden. He said once he has all the staff in place again, things will improve.

The board also discussed hiring a new registered nurse to take the place of Fran Selvage, who’s resignation was effective July 12. The commissioners are in the process of interviewing for that position as well. In the meantime, a licensed practical nurse was hired to work with the RN.

Also, in the reports was one extraordinary occurrence where an inmate-on-inmate assault required medical treatment beyond first aid.

Collins said it wasn’t a mutual fight and the victim needed to be taken to the emergency room for x-rays, but no bones were broken. The matter was referred to law enforcement, but he didn’t have any other information.

Expenditures at the jail also continue to be an issue, as well as population. The biggest expenditures again were medical and the bill to Jefferson County to house inmates. Medical costs in June were $24,744.09, and the bill from Jefferson County was $74,745.

The month of June began with 166 inmates with 129 committed and 127 released with an average daily in-house population of 168. The month ended with 173 inmates. There are 27 on home detention and 21 on supervised bail.

June began with nine participants in work release with one new participant and four paroled, ending the month with six participants.

Collins provided a breakdown of the inmate population. Eighty of the inmates are pretrial detainees, 19 are waiting for state transfer, one is waiting for extradition, three are bail revokes, nine are failure to appear bench warrants and 14 are awaiting parole revocations; the rest are serving sentences from the county or magistrate.

In Jefferson County, there are 34 inmates, three of which are pretrial detainees and the rest are sentenced inmates. Six are in facilities other than Jefferson County, bringing the grand total to 215.

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