Prison Board Hears Concerns Regarding Jail Policies Following Alleged Assault Incident

CLEARFIELD – Concerns regarding policies at the Clearfield County Jail were addressed at Tuesday’s Clearfield County Prison Board meeting.

Jan Gaikwad addressed the board and asked what the jail’s policy is if an assault occurs. President Judge Fredric Ammerman, chairman, asked her to explain the incident she was primarily concerned with.

Gaikwad said that in May, she had been arrested on a 48-hour detainer. Shortly after being brought to the jail as processing began, she said she had smiled at a corrections officer “because he was cute” and the CO smiled back.

At that point, she alleged, a CO kicked her in the face, and she woke up in a cell with a split lip that wasn’t attended to properly, resulting in a scar.

Later in the meeting, Warden Greg Collins asked her why she had been arrested and she explained that she had been at a friend’s house, waiting for them to come home and fell asleep on the porch.

When the friend’s stepmother came home, she didn’t recognize Gaikwad and called the police. She admitted that she had had a few drinks but said she wasn’t “messed up.”

Gaikwad said she has since tried to get someone from outside the jail to investigate the incident, disagreeing with Collins’ statement that the video review and interviews with staff indicated the incident had been handled properly.

When asked what steps she has taken, Gaikwad said she talked with Magisterial District Judge Mike Morris, and also filed a private criminal complaint with the district attorney’s office.

However, she had used the wrong CO’s name on the complaint and needed to file another one.

She also said that Morris told her to talk to the Lawrence Township police, and the department told her to talk to the prison board.

Ammerman explained that the prison board is not a law enforcement agency; however, he said she could write a letter to him, as chairman of the personnel committee, detailing her complaint and including supporting documentation.

The committee, which includes Commissioner John A. Sobel and Sheriff Michael Churner, can then conduct its own investigation.

He also advised moving forward with the private criminal complaint, although the DA may only refer her to the police.

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