BY DEBBIE WACHTER MORRIS DMORRIS@NCNEWSONLINE.COM





The Lawrence County jail is bringing up its grades. It has been a year since the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections cited the jail for inadequate training for its corrections officers. It also was cited last year for various other housekeeping matters inside the facility. This year's inspection took place last month, and the results are much better, Warden Charles H. Adamo reported to the county prison board members Wednesday. Since last year's citations, 13 corrections officers were sent to training and have graduated, because the commissioners allotted more money for training this year. Six officers are yet to be trained and certified, Adamo said. Because the jail showed a good-faith effort to train the personnel, the department reduced the citation to a deficiency. This year's inspection also yielded some other deficiencies that Commissioner Steve Craig, in reviewing the report, pointed out are pickayune. Those included worn paint on the handrails in the cell blocks, what appeared to be "possible" mold on the metal overhead frame of the upper shower, and insufficient clothing for the inmates. Insufficient floor space for inmates also was cited, but various board members noted the department of corrections oversaw the dimensions of the jail when it was built in 1997. Adamo pointed out that when the laundry crew washes the inmates' orange fatigues, it does one cell block at a time, giving the freshly washed outfits to the inmates as they take theirs off for laundering. No one ever sits around without clothing, Adamo said. The jail inspector wanted the county to provide more than one set of clothing per inmate, "but we don't have the numbers to give out," he said. He said the county is ordering jumpsuits for the inmates, at a cost of $9.95 per set. Regarding the other deficiencies, he commented, "We got the place looking as good as we could" before the inspectors arrived, Adamo said. A citation means there is blatant disregard to correct a minimum standard of the law, a state corrections press secretary explained last year. The county received no citations this year, Adamo pointed out. When a county is cited, it must provide an action plan to resolve the problems. Counties are given time, sometimes two or three years, to improve standards. The inspectors talked with staff members and inmates, Adamo pointed out, and "the inmates probably gave us a better rating than our corrections officers did." President Judge Dominick Motto also met with the inspection team, he said. This year's report was issued to the county June 26, based on the inspection conducted June 5, 6 and 8. The prison board has 60 days to reply and acknowledge it, including a proposed course of action to address any items that are not in compliance.



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