Mental Health and Employment Top Prison Board Meeting

CLEARFIELD – Mental health and employment topped the meeting of the Clearfield County Prison Board on Tuesday.

Community Development Specialist Lisa Kovalick spoke to the board regarding creating a team to address mental health in the county jail.

She explained that there is going to be a symposium at the Penn Stater on Oct. 31 hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The department will be providing counties with information and strategies to help those with mental health issues while incarcerated and also help them avoid returning to prison once released.

Kovalick said she is looking to form a six-member team to attend the event with her and asked the board members if they were interested to please contact her as soon as possible.

Warden Gregory Collins also informed the board that Alex George was hired as the new deputy warden and he began working Monday.

Collins is confident that as George becomes accustomed to his role, many of the deficiencies that were an issue in the annual inspection report will be resolved. Many of those issues involved record keeping, and were the result of vacant positions.

Collins also noted the jail will be taking steps to ensure all staff receive the proper training.

There are still some open positions at the jail, however. The board noted the resignation of the full-time licensed practical nurse and the commissioners will begin the search for another LPN.

The position of registered nurse is also open; however, board member John Sobel said the commissioners extended an offer of employment to an individual and are waiting for her response.

Controller Tom Adamson asked if they would need an RN now that they have another doctor contracted with the jail, but other board members and Warden explained that the work of the RN is unrelated to that of the doctor. The board recently contracted with Dr. Phuong Wirths.

Under housing, the board learned that September began with 165 inmates with 153 committed and 150 released, ending with 168. There were 30 on home detention and 21 on supervised bail.

There were 11 total on work release, beginning the month with five, with six added and two paroled.

The current population at Clearfield County Jail is 151, 12 of which are awaiting state transfer, one for extradition and 64 are pre-trial detainees.

There are currently 36 housed in Jefferson County and six in other facilities, bringing the total population to 193.

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