Prison numbers speak to need for Day Reporting Center

The male inmate capacity for the Lycoming County Prison is 221. Through November, the average male population there was 209, as reported at the December meeting of the Lycoming County Prison Board.

The female inmate prison capacity is 34. Through November, the average female population was 29. At the Pre-Release Center for women, the capacity is 32, with the average for the year 29.

That’s not margin for error, especially when you consider months like December, when there were six scheduled sentencing sessions with an average of 80 to 100 inmates in play at a time.

On top of that, we expect our judges to execute punishment that fits crimes and never be inclined to have prison population be a factor in those determinations.

The cost of sending inmates to other counties is prohibitive. And we don’t expect the county to build a new, larger, expensive prison unless it is absolutely the last alternative.

For all the factors listed above, a Day Reporting Center near the prison should be given serious consideration in the coming year. The county leaders are pushing for it and the city’s leaders need to listen to what is possible and how it has worked in other counties.

Count us on the side that wants to give this idea a full airing.