Website new to county will help with reentry

A new resource connection website available to inmates in the prison system will be an effective tool for their reentry into society, county prison board members announced Friday.

The GEO Group, Inc. expanded their online services into Lycoming County, connecting reentrants to job searching tools and assets, such as interview tips, or resume and cover letter examples, as well as information on high school diploma testing and vocational training programs, according to Michael Boughton, county prison program manager.

“There are also success stories, to motivate other inmates,” he said. The website, www.GEOreentry.com, works to connect ex-convicts with local resources in their community.

In other business, the prison population is up — from 332.19 to 350.7, in May to June, respectively.

“We’re not sure why that is,” said Warden Brad Shoemaker.

Last year’s prison population also saw a rise between May and June, “It’s following the trend,” he said.

Overall, the 2019 prison population is on-pace to be lower than last year’s, which was 351.84.

In the July mental health snapshot, 46.92 percent of inmates had some kind of mental health history. Of that, over half — 25.77 percent — have a current history of psychotropic medication, outpatient counseling, psychiatric hospitalizations or self-harm/suicide attempts.

Only 3.08 percent, however, are classified as having a serious mental illness.

In personnel actions, the board hired Riley Thomas as a full-time resident supervisor and Melissa Hill as a part-time resident supervisor.

Various staff members completed firearms training on June 6, expandable baton training on June 19 and 27. Correctional Officers Andrew Wimble and Jesse Wagner completed basic training at the DOC Training Academy in Elizabethtown.

The next prison board meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m., Aug 9, at the Lycoming County Courthouse basement juvenile conference room.