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Inmate numbers drop, may fall more as releases are ramped up

Inmate numbers for the Lycoming County Prison showed a significant drop between the months of February and March, according to figures released at Thursday’s board meeting.

Warden Brad Shoemaker said the coronavirus epidemic has prompted officials to release more prisoners than usual.

“It’s an initiative we are seeing across Pennsylvania,” he said.

In cooperation with the offices of the District Attorney and Adult Probation, officials are re-evaluating prisoners and determining who can be released from prison early.

In recent months, overall inmate numbers have shown a decrease, but the most recent figures point to efforts to further reduce the population.

The overall inmate population for males and females in both the prison and Pre-Release Center dropped from 304.48 in February to 260.52 in March.

For male prisoners, the numbers between the two months dropped from 250.93 to 223.65. For female inmates, the figures decreased from 53.55 to 36.87.

It was noted that prison officials have implemented COVID-19 mitigation measures to protect staff and inmates while further evaluating and responding to recommendations from government and medical experts.

In personnel matters, the board approved the hiring of Michael Weymer as a correctional counselor and Corey Brewer as a part-time resident supervisor.

The board’s next meeting is set for 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 8, at the Lycoming County Courthouse.

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