Overworked and Understaffed: Lycoming Prison transfers all female inmates.news

WILLIAMSPORT, Pennsylvania — Due to mandatory overtime and staffing shortages, all 12 female inmates at Lycoming County Jail had to be transferred to prisons in Center County and Clinton County.

Lycoming County Commissioner Tony Mussare said the transfer, which took place on Oct. 20, “liberates the CO.” [corrections officers] To help with forced overtime

There’s no specific timeline for Lycoming County Jail to reopen women inmates, but Musarre said, “I hope it’s not four or five months.”

Mussare said the women were transported last week and it costs the county $70 a day to house the inmates in other county facilities. Lycoming Prison holds her 19 inmates for the federal government at $80 per day, which offsets the additional cost of holding inmates elsewhere. , she explained Mussare.

It costs the county about $45 a day to hold inmates in Lycoming County Jail, he said.

Musarre, chairman of the county jail board, declined to comment on current headcounts because of “safety concerns” and “security issues”. Nor was it possible to provide the total number of inmates in prison.

He noted that the commissioner has approved the hiring of five more full-time corrections officers at the prison.

These new guards were hired at a new starting salary of $20 an hour. This is his $1.90 increase from his previous starting salary of $18.10. The Commissioner approved this pay increase on October 20th through an agreement with the prison labor union, confirming that all current prison officers would receive the same pay increase of $1.90 per hour.

Commissioners Scott Metzger and Richard Mirabito voted to approve the wage increase. Mussare voted against the bill. “It’s not about the money,” Mussare said after the vote.

At the October 20th meeting, it was also learned that the Commissioner had approved the creation of ten additional part-time correctional officers. At Thursday’s meeting, he was approved for two part-time jobs.

The county is currently in negotiations with unions for a new contract, but Musaare said he could not comment. He said there was no deadline for an agreement to be made and that the guards could not attack.

According to Musaret, just because five people are hired doesn’t mean they will all stay in training. He said the guards would spend four weeks “shadowing” other guards during training, after which they would be added to staff rotations.

Musaare said some of the forced overtime should be mitigated once the training is complete, but it would not “reduce significantly” the amount of forced overtime.

“We are still forced to work overtime,” Musaret said.

One such problem is that prison sergeant. Joseph Defrancesco has worked more than 70 consecutive days.

Musare said Defrancesco is still working as of Friday, but will be taking a few days off in the coming weeks due to Monica Laird’s recent promotion to Sergeant.

Laird will start in his new role on October 30th.

Regarding the relaxation of mandatory overtime, Mussare said prisons “should be in good shape by February or March.”

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