County jail, DOC agree to share inmate information
SUNBURY - The Northumberland County Prison Board approved Tuesday an inter-governmental agreement with the state Department of Corrections (DOC) to allow for inmate information exchange.
The purpose of the agreement is to facilitate cooperation and improve intelligence gathering, analysis and sharing capacities between the DOC and county prison.
In particular, the two entities agree to freely share information to identify inmates who pose a threat to others before those inmates arrive at the prison, explained Warden Roy Johnson.
In other words, said District Attorney Tony Rosini, it's used to track gang members.
Information that would be exchanged includes, but is not limited to, self-admission by the inmate, gang-related tattoos, use or possession of symbols, group photographs, observed association, contact with known inmates, membership documents, published news accounts, investigative files and reports for confidential inmate sources.
Johnson introduced the agreement Tuesday, noting there was no rush to pass it, but Rosini said there was no reason to delay approving it.
Sheriff Chad Reiner and Rosini made and seconded the motion to approve the agreement, and it passed 6-0. Commissioner Vinny Clausi was absent from the meeting.
Commissioner Stephen Bridy, who is the chair of the prison board, provided a verbal preliminary report from the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), who was invited in August to review prison policies, procedures, practices, medical services and facilities.
While there will be an official report from Bill Lovinier at a future meeting, Bridy said the NIC official had positive things to say about the warden, the medical providers and the flow of information.
However, Bridy said, they will be reporting the facility is obsolete.
"We should be looking into a new facility. Anything we do to keep it going is just kicking the can down the road," he said.
The goal is to have NIC make a recommendation to the prison board in relation to the construction of a new prison.
In other business, the board asked the warden to provide the total cost of staffing a weekend holding cell at the next meeting.