No contraband found in DOC search at prison

McELHATTAN — The Clinton County Correctional Facility came up clean during a contraband search conducted yesterday by the Department of Corrections.

The search wasn’t due to suspicion of drugs in the facility, but because of a memorandum of understanding between the facility and the DOC.

“We’ve had an outstanding relationship with the DOC,” Deputy Warden Mike Kunes told the county prison board.

The request for use of the DOC’s Canine Unit came after members of the government organization toured the facility, Kunes said.

“We approached them,” Warden Angela Hoover said. “There’s a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place between us and other county correctional facilities” that brought about the partnership.

Hoover didn’t expect anything to turn up during the search but believes continued searches at least twice a year would be effective in deterring any possible findings.

“It’s that deterrence and that added layer of detection that we are interested in,” she said. “Something that detainees are aware we have and utilize moving forward.”

Four canines, traveling in pairs of two and with their handlers made their way through the entire facility in a four hour period Wednesday morning, Hoover said.

The DOC comes to correctional facilities to give the canines training, meaning the searches cost the county nothing, she said.

“My goal would be a minimum of (searches) two times a year if not more,” she continued. “It’s not something we want to do monthly by any means, but definitely not just once a year.”

Hoover said the DOC is flexible about where the facility may want them to search.

“They’ll hit any area we ask of them,” she said.

In other business the board:

— Approved a county housing contract change between the prison and five other counties that include Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Elk and Union.

The change will add a three-year term to otherwise open-ended contracts that allow out-of-county detainees to be housed at the prison for $70 per-inmate-per-day, Hoover said.

The change was made after the facility noticed many of the counties weren’t utilizing the facility to house their detainees, she said.

“We want to make sure we’re all on board and what the terms are,” she said.

At the end of the three-year period, the counties can come together and possibly make changes to the contracts if needed, she said.

— Approved the 2020 Medical Contract Renewal with Wellpath which saw a 2 percent reduction in cost.

The budget will total $918,621.81, a $54,060 decrease in last years budget, Hoover said.

— Received an update on the facility’s population total for November. An average of 84 county inmates, 69 male and 15 female, were housed at the building with 131 detainees from outside agencies.

The per diem population with federal and county contracted agencies is increasing, Hoover said, averaging 114 detainees from other agencies excluding DOC.

— Given an update on what contracts will expire in 2020. A contract with Oasis for commissary will expire on Aug. 31 and the telephone/offender management system contract with Securus will expire on Sept. 1.

Hoover said she plans to put the contracts out for bid as early as possible and bring the information to the board.


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