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Fayette prison board 'too stretched' to adopt all revisions based on Berks County policies

| Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Seven months after the Fayette County Prison Board elected to modify another county's administrative policies for its own use, officials reported Wednesday that only minimal progress has been made.

The board in March adopted Berks County's administrative prison policies. The policies were not to go into effect until a committee, consisting of representatives of the courts and prison, modified the policies to fit Fayette County's needs.

Warden Brian Miller said the work is approximately 25 percent completed but proposed that modifications are not “typed up” into a formal document. Tammy Lambie, deputy court administrator, said five sections of Berks County's policies have been reviewed.

“We've all been too stretched to work on it,” Lambie said, noting that efforts have been focused on resolving other problems at the jail.

One of those problems is delays in transporting inmates from the jail to state prison after they are sentenced. One inmate, she said, was sentenced to state prison on Sept. 9 but was not transferred until about six weeks later.

Lambie said delays in processing the sentencing order contributed to the problem. The jail received the order twice, she said, before the inmate was transferred.

Miller said a deputy warden was ordered to assist with the transfer, once the problem was identified. Sheriff Gary Brownfield, a member of the prison board, said if the order was not followed, disciplinary action should have followed.

The board discussed the matter, and two others involving personnel, in a closed-door executive session. When the meeting resumed an hour later, they took no action on the matter involving an unidentified deputy warden.

In other personnel matters, the board terminated a part-time corrections officer and approved a medical leave of absence for a deputy warden, Barry Croftcheck.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com

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