Jail inmate treatment on the rise
The county prison is filled to capacity, but Public Defender Deborah Albert-Heise had one bit of heartening news to report: three times as many inmates received drug and alcohol treatment in the month of April than in previous months.
“Kudos to everyone involved, that is awesome,” Albert-Heise said. It was noted that the facility’s population has a great need for this type of intervention, and that services provided by programs like ‘A Better Today’ and Alcoholics Anonymous help to reduce future crime by changing the offenders’ behavior.
According to Warden Ken Repsher’s report to the prison board Tuesday, ABT made 20 visits in the month of March, reaching 303 inmates in a total of 45 hours. Alcoholics Anonymous made seven visits in March, providing services to 62 inmates in seven hours.
Mental health programs also provided 25 hours of services to 25 inmates.
Repsher noted that May 4-10 is Pennsylvania’s Corrections Employee Week.
‘We’re extremely pleased with the employees of the prison and want to recognize them. We have a team of dedicated people who work there, and that is why we are successful,” he said.
The commissioners proclaimed the week as Correction Employee Week in Wyoming County.
The present inmate count was reported as 59 males and 13 females, totaling 72, which is filled to capacity. “We don’t have much breathing room,” he said.
The county has paid boarding fees for inmates housed at Lackawanna County and Susquehanna County’s correctional facilities. Not including prescriptions, xrays, insulin, etc., the county paid $2,080 in January, $1,820 in February, and $2,015 in March, totaling $5,915 in board for the first quarter of the year.
The county jail has received its new water heaters, which are now installed and running.
Repsher said that the weighty water heaters are eight feet tall, and required the aid of the county EMA truck with a winch to lift and place them in the facility’s basement.
The prison board had a brief executive session for a personnel matter. Upon returning, Commissioner Tom Henry stated, “The board has decided to take action on a personnel matter after the person has been notified.”
A state inspection of the prison will be held on May 28, Repsher said.