Clearfield Co. Prison Board Discusses Inmate Population, Healthcare Costs

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Prison Board Tuesday reviewed several items of regular business.

The population at Clearfield County Jail had been below 150 for several months in a row; however, the population is now hovering around 160.

January began with 132 with 141 committed and 126 released, ending with 147. However, as of Tuesday, the population was 160 and was expected to change by the end of the day due to sentencing court.

There are also seven inmates housed in Jefferson County.

It was noted that 160 is manageable at CCJ, but when they get higher than that, they start looking into sending inmates to Jefferson.

Also, it was noted that for the month of January, revenues were $4,237.56 and expenses were $286,142.42.

Board members reviewed the bills and accounts for January and it was noted that the pharmacy bill is below $20,000, but the bill for Penn Highlands DuBois is quite high.

Controller Tom Adamson stated that some of the PH DuBois bill is due to old bills from one inmate during various stays at the jail since 2018.

President Judge Fredric Ammerman, chairman, added that the judges do what they can with sentencing so that the jail does not incur outrageous expenses for healthcare, but the individual in question is someone who cannot be released under any circumstance.

Commissioner John Sobel added that he and the warden have been in discussion with Penn Highlands Healthcare regarding inmates being taken to Clearfield’s emergency room and then regularly sent to DuBois and they question the need to send so many to DuBois.

Under good of the order, the board discussed setting reasonable limitations on public comment times. He asked Commissioner David Glass, who was formerly on the Clearfield Area School Board, what the policy there had been.

Glass replied that the board allowed three minutes for comment and the board members do not answer questions.

The prison board then voted to set the time limit to three minutes, at the board’s discretion, and that they would not necessarily respond to questions at that time.

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