For first time in awhile, some good county prison news

For the first time in a lot of months, Lycoming County has gotten good news about its prison population.

The number of Lycoming County prisoners housed in an out-of-county prison because of overcrowding here was significantly lower in September and so far in October was lower than the period from April to August.

The September average of overcrowding inmates was 19.53, down from 42.38 in August and 31.79 in July. There have been days in October when there was no overcrowding, according to Prison Warden Kevin DeParlos.

DeParlos could not pinpoint the direct cause for the decrease.

We’d like to think the use of a county re-entry center is starting to pay dividends.

Something has to work long-term if the county is to cut into its significant prison overcrowding costs.

Those costs were $474,000 through August and will exceed $500,000 by the end of the year.

The ultimate goal, of course, would be to find a way that Lycoming County can keep from expanding its county prison facility or building a new one. Given the county’s economic circumstances and the limited means of its stretched-to-the-bone taxpayers, perfecting the use of existing incarceration facilities is preferable to expansion or replacement.