Inspection Report Tops Prison Board Meeting

CLEARFIELD – The inspection report for Clearfield County Jail topped the Prison Board’s meeting on Tuesday.

President Judge Fredric Ammerman checked with the board members to ensure each had received a copy of the report, which had been briefly discussed at the July meeting, then asked if anyone had any comments.

Controller Tom Adamson said he had read the report and was alarmed by some of what he read and said that some sort of corrective action needs to be taken by the warden and staff.

He asked how it is possible that the jail went from years of good reports with zero violations to one with a lengthy list of problems.

Ammerman replied that he believes that it is a matter of administration. During the time of the inspection, the jail was short two administrative positions and one deputy warden and the majority of the problems listed in the report are due to that.

He said he has been working with the commissioners to rectify the employment problem and interviews have been conducted, but they haven’t had much luck so far with filling the vacant positions.

He also went on to say that he had talked with a representative of the inspectors for the Department of Corrections during the 30-day time limit to respond and talked with him about the issue and asked for a 120-day extension, which was not granted.

Adamson said he understood that was an issue, but there were items on the list that should not have been due to administration, including issues with medical and health, clothing, discipline, security, inmate rules and so on and those need to been addressed.

Commissioner John Sobel also noted he had made a similar phone call during the 30-day period and also one on Monday. During the second phone conversation, he was told that the jail has two issues with core correctional functions.

One of those, he said, was ensuring that equipment was properly logged out and logged back in, and that staff training needs to be improved.

Ammerman then offered to make copies of the report available to the press, and further information will appear in a future article.

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