County’s average inmate numbers dip to notable low

The Lycoming County Prison has all inmates in-house right now, Warden Kevin DeParlos reported at Friday morning’s prison board meeting.

“We had an average daily population of 309.3 in March,” DeParlos said. “That’s one of the lowest numbers we’ve had in quite some time.”

No prisoners have been held out-of-county since Mar. 4, he said.

“The caveat is the number of sentences we haven’t had,” Sheriff Mark Lusk said. “When we don’t have sentencings it seems then they cluster up and then we get hammered. We’ve had very few lately.”

“Can we get in black and white when sentencings are being held?” Controller Krista Rogers asked. “If that’s a big piece of why we go over our prison capacity, maybe that’s an easy fix.”

“There’s a fairly consistent court calendar,” Lusk said. “We just don’t know who’s going to be sentenced when that calendar comes out.”

“There used to be all-day sentencings or several judges sentencing on one day,” DeParlos said. “Judge Butts changed that a couple years ago and that’s helped the system immensely.”

The board decided to request a two-year history of sentencing patterns from county court.

In other business, a number of county officials walked through a four-story building on Hepburn Street across from the county prison on Wednesday to assess its viability as a possible day reporting center.

“The people who are going to make the decision need to look and see it it will work,” said Commissioner Tony Mussare. “And see if it’ll help reduce our prison population.”

A day reporting center would expand adult probation services, possibly allowing for more sentenced offenders to be released on intense and electronically monitored supervision.

In February, Clinton County was paid $12,120 for housing inmates.

The prison board next meets on May 10 at 8:30 a.m. in the Executive Plaza, 330 Pine St.