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County Jail to House State Inmates

County officials say convicted murderers and those imprisoned for other serious crimes are 'less likely' to be housed in the Eagleville facility.

The Montgomery County Correctional Facility in the Eagleville section of Lower Providence will house an indeterminate number of state Department of Corrections inmates on work release, following an agreement approved Thursday by the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.

Uri Monson, the county's chief financial officer, said the state is seeking multiple avenues to reduce "severe overcrowding" in its prisons and that the Department of Corrections will reimburse the county at the maximum allowable rate of $65 per day per prisoner.

Monson said neither he nor the state was yet certain exactly how many inmates would be transferred to the county under the agreement, but he stressed that only inmates suitable for work release programs would be housed there. Under the agreement, Montgomery County may reject any inmates at its discretion. Julio Algarin, the warden of the jail, will make the final determination on the suitability of each inmate to participate in the program.

Inmates convicted of certain serious crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, and sex offenses (excluding prostitution), will be considered "problematic" and require further review before being allowed to transfer to the county jail.

"This does not automatically disqualify them from participating, but it makes it much less likely," wrote county deputy solicitor Josh Stein in an internal email that was released to the media.

The new agreement follows two recent agreements and to house prisoners and deportees at the county jail. 

The jail opened a new wing last year that was designed to accommodate an additional 500 inmates while easing overcrowding in the facility.

Police Praised for Protest Response at Jail

Commissioner Bruce Castor thanked the Lower Providence Police Department for their response during a June 28 protest against the housing of deportees at the jail. Castor singled out Lower Providence police chief Francis "Bud" Carroll and Lt. Stanley Turtle for particular praise.

"They did a very good job. A very efficient organization, top to bottom," Castor said.

MzPaula July 06, 2012 at 02:59 PM
So how will this impact Norristown? Where will their jobs be (phyiscal location)? We already have a problem with people who have been released finding work. That is part of the reason for the high recidivism rate. So we have folks wondering the streets with no where to go because there is no work. When these decisions are made, there has to be a wholistic approach. If they are work-release they are close to the time forthem to get out; Where will they live? How will they survive?
James Myers July 06, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I don't know too much about the state work release program for inmates but I would suspect that the jobs are arranged and the workers managed by the state. I'll make some calls and see if I can get some answers about that for you. As for when those prisoners are released, since they come from various areas around the state, I would think most would return to their hometowns. I'll ask if they have any statistics on where inmates settle after release.
nice to know you July 12, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Where can I find more information on this, as to when it will begin? How can inmates apply or who decides on such? Like will it first be optional to those already sitting in MCCF looking at/pending a state sentence? I think personally this is a wonderful idea. It gives those of US who have family in the system a little bit of relief that said person will have rthe same oppertunities as those given a county sentence. Imo it isn't reasonable for those with 'simple' crimes to be moved 500 miles away making it merly impossible for the inmate and family to physically see one another. If there is a child involved there is added stress both to the inmate and the outside family for fear that given a state sentence, where ever the inmate is displaced makes it that much harder for a bond between a father/mother and/or their child\ren. Thanks for the story.

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