Thursday, April 24, 2014

Expanded Guestlist Considered at West Easton Treatment Center

During yesterday's meeting of the Courts and Corrections Committee, prison officials acknowledged that they are entering into discussions with West Easton to expand the types of offenders housed at its West Easton treatment and work release facility. Currently, the only inmates permitted there are DUI and nonsupport offenders.

Corrections Superintendent Arnie Matos told Council that it costs $93.40 per day to house an inmate at the main jail. At West Easton, it's a little higher, costing $96.15. That price would drop to $69.13, however, if the treatment center was at its 100-person maximum.

As of April 23, there were 678 inmates at the main jail and 72 offenders at West Easton.

"We would be very careful about who we would send down there," Matos told Council member Hayden Phillips, in response to concerns that the wrong kind of person could interfere with rehabilitation.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

DSM=billable criteria to said insurers for criminal behavior, what the hell is that cimit a crime and the federal government pays for it to the lower local LLC entity colloding?

Anonymous said...

When Mezza gets committed, with her multiple personalities, will that add up to 5 more?

Anonymous said...

BO-
Here's a question, why not close west easton completely and fill the current work release facility that they have? I volunteer at the prison and a number of the residents I counsel have been moved over to the work release facility not to work but to fill bed space because they have so many open beds, they refer to them selves as sitters. Seems like the tax payers got stuck paying for this building when it was truly needed.

TM

Anonymous said...

Sorry I meant the taxpayers got stuck paying for this building when it truly wasn't needed.

TM

Bernie O'Hare said...

Until I know that TM is not Tricia Mezzacappa, I will not engage you. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt that the above named individual would volunteer at the jail or be permitted to volunteer. I guess I have to change my initials but I hope that by the tone and content of my posts you realize I'm not that individual.

TM

Bernie O'Hare said...

They do. Am covering another meeting right now.

Anonymous said...

Why do they need permission now? They've been doing it for half a year already. There are drug dealers and addicts and aggressive inmates at WE already. What a farce this is. One guy calls it a treatment center. One guy calls it work release. Another guy calls it just more jail in another location. What a dog and pony show this admin. puts on. time to investigate their whole operation behind the steel curtain of secrecy.

Anonymous said...

This was precisely the reason that the ZHB in Bethlehem Township rejected the "treatment center" when initially proposed in BT....once the camel's nose is in, it isnt long before the entire camel is residing with you in the tent.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The ZHB in BT are a bunch of self-important snobs who were never going to grant this under any circumstances. They were a kangaroo court.

Nothing is going to happen in West Easton unless West Easton agrees. And then, nothing is going to happen unless it does not interfere with treatment.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"They've been doing it for half a year already. There are drug dealers and addicts and aggressive inmates at WE already."

This is false. I heard this allegation before, asked for proof and it never came.

Anonymous said...

Gracedale is the white elephant. Nursing homes are no longer functions of county government. Other counties continue to sell we run a 6 million dollar deficit year after year.

Anonymous said...

Incorrect about the ZHB in BT....after the court overturned the ZHB ruling, the ZHB imposed REASONABLE conditions (including requiring that it NOT become a second "prison")....Stoffa and Atiyeh decided not to build it in BT (probably because they were planning to make it a second prison)....Get your facts straight Bernie.

Anonymous said...

In response to your post at 9:03 BO-

Just because an inmate is housed in West Easton for a current dui or back child support doesnt meen that they didnt have an Aggravated Assault, Drug Dealing or major crime in the very recent past. They are housed according to their current charge but can have a rap sheet a mile long and still be housed in West Easton. Not false at all.

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:27, those restrictions were so reasonable they were repeatedly rejected by the Court, which ended up imposing the restrictions itself. All along, the ZHB in BT was a kangaroo court.

Bernie O'Hare said...

My facts are accurate.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 11.01. At some point the truth will come out about what goes on at WE and is condoned by this jail administration. Pull back the curtain and look at the ugly reality. What a shame and disgrace..

Anonymous said...

This is exactly the concern that Mr. McClure and others warned us about when this contract went through. It was known this would be a second prison and all the "promises" by Atiyeh and Stoffa were meaningless. Now we are seeing the reality behind the pitch.

This will be the story with the new human services building as well. Many promises but when the other shoe falls the real problems and massive expenses will follow.

The only people who will end up benefiting from all these last Administration legacy problems will be Atiyeh and Gentile.

Anonymous said...

Once again in response to your post at 11:43

Terry Allen convicted of Robbery, Aggravated Assault, and Weapons Possesion in the past, as well as a work release escape back in 2000. Currently housed in West Easton. Your facts are sadly inaccurate. I know this because ive lived next to his mother for decades.

Bernie O'Hare said...

So once someone has done his time, he is never to be allowed on work release? Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

No, you are the one who claimed they had the "facts" but you do not. Now you are reverting to penal philosophy to cover your mistakes.

You are once again providing cover for a terrible practice initiated by your buddy Stoffa.

Bernie, you have a good blog and provide a great deal of good inside information. However, when it comes to people like Stoffa, Angle and Dent you have a major blind spot to the real facts.

That's is just the way it is.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The way it is, eh? I sign my name. I will not make an assertion I believe to be untrue. I have looked into this before, and it is largely untrue. Now if you want to prove me wrong, you're going to need lots of data showing a pattern and showing more than one ancient offense that has nothing to do with current charges.

Anonymous said...

It says treatment center on the door. Is it or is it a work release center or is it just more jail? Why can't we know what it is? I guess it all depends on who is talking..right/

Anonymous said...

Where is the money going that WE boro gets out of this center? I thought it was supposed to lower boro taxes? WE boro taxes were just raised..again..and still no police. What gives?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tricia Mezzacappa.

She's a drain on any municipal budget.

Anonymous said...

"They've been doing it for half a year already. There are drug dealers and addicts and aggressive inmates at WE already."

This is false. I heard this allegation before, asked for proof and it never came.


Unfortunately BO you are wrong and need to admit defeat on this one. I firmly believe in redemption and everyone deserving a second chance but it's a fact that some residents in the west easton facility have a checkered past. You'd have to be naive to think MR.Allen is the only example.
-C.Kent

Bernie O'Hare said...

Who is C. Kent? Does that person even exist?

Anonymous said...

I wish more ex-inmates would come forward and share what they know about life at the WE facility. The public needs to hear from them but it is understandable why they remain silent. Fear of reprisal.

Anonymous said...


It is also a matter of how much risk a released former inmate is willing to take especially if they are still on parole and still under supervision. Some want to get as far away as possible and not look back. Can't say as I blame them under the circumstances. At some point.someone will come forward and tell the truth and they will be called a liar and not a reliable source simply because they are an ex-inmate and they know that already.

Anonymous said...

Whether CKent exists isn't really the issue, the fact is it was a very good comment and can't be denied. I guess when you can't argue the merit of the comment you have to argue the identity of the individual. These kinds of facilities are a necessary evil and no one wants them in their backyard but to argue that they are full of choir boys is just plain crazy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

When people use pseudonyms and provide no data to justify a serious accusation, the comment is garbage. I have heard this before, and isn't it just a little amazing that absolutely no data confirms it? I can say that they're all serial rapists, but that means nothing without proof. Without that, they are wild and unfair claims.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you do a story on Daniel Joseph Preziosi who escaped from magistrate capobianco's office while being arraigned on a robbery charge or Anthony Heath who is accused of homicide, both CEC graduates. Excellent "treatment".
http://articles.mcall.com/2014-02-07/news/mc-jim-thorpe-homicide-allentown-theft-20140207_1_heath-burned-body-flagstaff-road
http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/nazareth/index.ssf/2013/12/escaped_robbery_suspect_is_arr.html

Anonymous said...

Basically the individuals with the facts are Corrections Officers who would like to retain their employment. As there is policy that exsists that they cannot comment to any media. Although not recent there was an officer terminated for speaking out on a local radio show, to wit current officers are reminded of.
Also, if anyone is really concerned and wants a research project ther is always right to know, just need to ask the right questions as not to get covered up data. With this in mind I'm sure that people would be surprised with the answers in many areas, CEC, WE, Work Release, as well as in house prison classification.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If you are corrections officers, you may very well have an agenda. West Easton only needs two COs, which means less OT for you. Instead of looking out for the inmate or the County, I am justified in asking whether you are more interested in your bottom line.

You have a union-friendly Controller doing a performance audit. I would prefer to see it done by someone who does not have such an obvious bias. But I need to see that before making any conclusions. It is unwise to rely upon anecdotal evidence. Sorry.

I am interested in the facts. If they bear you out, I will be on your side. I know some of you, and have no reason to disbelieve you, but what you are saying needs to be verified.

Anonymous said...

Verification will be difficult but not impossible. The code of silence among staff and admin. is nearly monolithic. This secret and separate society/culture unto itself was constructed over a long period of time and happened because nobody cared what happened behind the walls. Out of sight..out of mind. The county tax payers deserve to know exactly what is going on in their names. They pay for it and should have every right to expect to be told the truth of the matter. The audits of CEC are just the starting point. Blind faith in an institution like this is foolish and a dangerous stance to take when human lives are at stake. The incarcerated are still citizens as you and I are. Justice may be blind but we as tax payers are not. We should and will demand accountability at all levels of government..including the jail.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe very much in demanding accountability, but am leery of those who have a pre-set agenda. That is how an audit becomes a witch hunt. If you believed in accountability, you would start by identifying yourself or explaining what motivates you.

I believe that COs who desire fat OT checks might be behind some of these comments. They could be fearful that CEC will put them out of a job.

Or these could be volunteers who think CEC is a waste.

I believe Barron's audit will tell McClure what he wants to hear, and will be used by a cost-conscious Council and Exec to get rid of the program. I would prefer a report from a more neutral source.

Anonymous said...

B.O. - I can see and understand your point, you are correct in regards to the OT remark, although there are a few OT whores at the jail it's not as predominant as it once was. Seems most want to do their 8 and hit the gate.
The Borough of West Easton can ask the questions and hopefully make the best decisions for its residents, along with County Council looking at the overall housing plan at the jail. And if needed the Department of Justice could be asked for assistance as they have individuals that will make evaluations and recommendations.

Anonymous said...

Bernie 9;39 is most likely correct and I highly doubt that this is a union issue those people probably know the facts and whats really going on, that's why John Brown has the Brown bag lunches to hear the employees thoughts and opinions.

Anonymous said...

Bernie could it be possible that this OT that you are ranting about is due to the fact that the jail staff is undermaned, that should be a fact that you should know before making such accusations about the people that work there.Check it out!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, the employees know what is going on, but like I said, their interest is not always identical to what is best for the County. In this case, it could be a desire for OT or more bodies. I am sure the audit will reveal exactly what Lamont McClure wants it to reveal.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Like I said, it could be OT, or more bodies, or it could be that the COs are right. We'll see.