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About the prison

February 20, 2013

I’m appalled by the price tag of $40 million to build a new county prison. The Sun-Gazette editorial of Feb. 13 mentions the existing prison “has 255 beds and no room for expansio....

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Feb-20-13 1:57 PM

USA - can't do it. There are standards not options. School will not work. Can't even be a real consideration. Work Crew already exists through the PRC as does Community Service for those on the outside. Community Service can only be applied to Costs. There is no actual pay so restitution remains. KrazyK - you do understand we have prison standards and have for years. The sentence itself is the punishment, the separation from society if you will. Nothing you stated is legal. BTW, bunks are two beds. The prison does have many cells holding two. You don't get to choose a single-cell option.

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Feb-20-13 1:38 PM

USA/Krazy, I agree with you both 100%

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Feb-20-13 1:33 PM

Split the non-violent offenders into two "chain-gang" groups and make them do community service for twelve hours a day. Twelve hours in prison, twelve hours out. That means one bed = two inmates. Oil industry off-shore platforms and ships have been working split shifts/bunks for a long time.

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Feb-20-13 12:46 PM

spike2 - 10:23 AM

"A school is not realistic. Upgrading and dividing into cells, installing all the plumbing, cell doors, central locking and so forth would cost more than building."

Building a high chain link fence is the biggest expense in using a school. Each classroom could hold a dozen beds. Cells would not be necessary. There are already plenty of bathrooms and also shower-rooms. The cafeteria is already there to feed them. Inside, the biggest expense would be beds and lockers for their belongings.

Remember, we are talking non-violent, short-term people here!

Sure beats $40 MILLION we can't afford!

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Feb-20-13 11:18 AM

In regards to your probation comments, I still don't see why they couldn't do something in terms of community service or something for people dealing with 'minor infractions' rather than wasting tax dollars on imprisonment.

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Feb-20-13 10:39 AM

RE: Domestics, this is a civil commitment. Parole/Probation is only available in a criminal matter. Parole/Probation is a way of allowing inmates to serve their minimum sentence and complete their maximum sentence outside. This is a privilege, not a right.They are returned to the prison if conditions of supervision are violated. Bottom line, nothing will be built soon.

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Feb-20-13 10:23 AM

No. You can not house an inmate in a state prison that has not or does not receive a state sentence. Clinton has fewer available beds than they did in the past. The other issue is these inmates are unsentenced and need to be transported back and forth to court proceedings. This requires two sheriffs. As to for profit, inmates are charged a maximum of $5.00 per day for housing. A school is not realistic. Upgrading and dividing into cells, installing all the plumbing, cell doors, central locking and so forth would cost more than building. Judges are not paid by the county. Judges are paid by the Commonwealth of Pa. It is not a local decision to add additional courts. Further, adding a court requires extra public attorneys to be in all the different courts. I do favor the current proposed alternatives to attempt to lower incarceration levels. "Good time" would be another option. The Fed system gives time for each time unit an inmate remains incident free.

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Feb-20-13 8:24 AM

Maybe I should be more specific about what I'm saying in my post (not sure why someone disagreed with it, but I'd be interested in hearing)

I'm not for people who have broken the law, being released, within reason. I don't think letting 'non violent' drug dealers/users, should be out on the streets. Drugs is a large part of the motive behind many of the recent shootings that have taken place. When it comes to things like Child Support Violators..there's gotta be away to deal with these people, such as probation/community service. Same with DUI violators, I'm not condoning what they've done but there are other methods you can use to free up space in a reasonable manner. If you can do that, which I believe they can, then what is the need for a $40 Million Prison? IF they're going to do that anyway when they build the new prison..doesn't that sort of defeat the 'excuse' they used to get the funding for it? Or am I missing something.

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Feb-20-13 6:59 AM

Maybe we should just hire another judge so that those in jail awaiting trial aren't there so long. You could pay an additional judge for a lot of years for 40 million. I don't know if this would solve the problem as I don't have access to that data, but it would be worth a look.

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Feb-20-13 6:29 AM

The Prison was not built for future expansion because the ones from Philly, Jersey and New York City did not start coming until right around when it was finish. They did not plan on all this trash moving here, it was built for the local trash.

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Feb-20-13 6:24 AM

Fence in some of the abandoned schools and outdated schools, use them for prisons, and build new schools instead of prisons.

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Feb-20-13 6:17 AM

My biggest question is..they say part of the plan is to release all of the non-violent offenders. Well, while I'm against that, why isn't that the ONLY plan? They are complaining they don't have enough room, so they're going to spend $40 Million to build a new prison and then release prisoners... so why not just release prisoners and free up space? You save yourself and the tax payers $40 Million +.

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Feb-20-13 6:11 AM

Why wasn't it built for future expansion?

Simple, when it was constructed it was as a correctional facility. On our current "for profit" county system more beds=more customers=more revenue.

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Feb-20-13 5:15 AM

Both Clinton and Centre counties have extra beds at their prisons.

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Feb-20-13 4:16 AM

I am not sure if they can be housed in state prisons, but other counties rent their space to other a high cost.

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Feb-20-13 1:27 AM

Is it possible to house some of these prisoners in the state prison system?

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