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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Was There a Riot at the Jail Last Week? Director Keen Sez No!

Last night, I received this anonymous comment: "Bernie, you really should consider a new story on NCP. John Brown's lack of funding leading to inadequate staffing which is leading to rolling lockdowns, which lead [sic] to a riot on a tier last week that forced the prison to move the inmates into a different part of the prison while they repair the damage from the riot. Just yesterday a prison guard was sent to the hospital after being burned by an inmate because Brown is allowing the prison to rot."

I will try to get some answers today.  I find this comment disturbing enough to publish, but need to caution readers that it might be inaccurate.

Updated 7:30 am: I have asked Corrections Director Dan Keen to tell me what happened at the jail, and will update this post if and when it is received. A reliable source from inside informs me that there was a fight on F tier last week, but it was unrelated to the move. Inmates were moved so contractors can come in and repair showers. A guard did get burned because inmates do not want to be locked in. Because of staff shortages, inmates were locked in most of the weekend. On Sunday they were allowed out until officer dinner time. Then they had to be locked in again because there were not enough officers to cover chow. The inmates got mad and threw scalding water on officer Goldfedder. This blog has been reporting staff shortages at the jail for over a year, and it appears that jail administrators are beginning to see negative consequences. Though the scalding incident has been reported in The Morning Call, administrators had no information at that time on what led up to it.

Updated 11:30 am: Dan, Keen, Northampton County's Corrections Director, was kind enough to update us all on what exactly is going on. Here's what he says. "Thank you for your inquiry and opportunity to provide factual information. On Monday August 24 at 8:30 PM in the F-Tier Housing unit we had a group of inmates fighting each other on what appeared to be over a card game. There was no damage to the unit. The incident is under investigation.

"On Thursday August 27th the inmates that were housed in the F-Tier unit were moved to another location due to scheduled maintenance of the showers.

"On Sunday August 30th there was an officer assaulted in B-4 housing unit and was admitted to a local hospital. He has since been released. We are pursuing criminal charges against the inmate and reviewing the incident."


Anonymous said...

That statement is 100 % inaccurate the rolling lock downs and the staffing had nothing to do with it. Who ever this person is he or she is just trying to make sound like the administration has caused the disturbance and the officer being assaulted which again os 100 % inaccurate. Aa much as I dislike brown and what he has done to the prison he is mot responsible for what jas happened.

Anonymous said...

Fact is there was a riot on a tier. Wouldn't say it had to do with low staffing though. Fact is an officer was burned by boiling water. Fact is the 2 officers working that area were mandated at that time. Rolling lock downs are happening. Tiers are being shut down and inmates relocated. Maybe everything is tied together but that may be a bit of a stretch. They did finally start interviewing to fill the 40 vacant spots.

Anonymous said...

fuck the inmates. They earned their place

Anonymous said...

Great post about something that didn't happen. A couple more of these posts and you'll soon be the Tony Rhodin of blogging!

Anonymous said...

B4 was the CEC unit. Goldfedder a fine officer and a gentleman. Sad to hear that he was assaulted. Officers have a tough job under stressful conditions. I hope he has a full recovery and can return to work when healthy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

4:41. I don't think Goldfeder or Director Keen would agree that nothing happened. Jails are scary places and it is important to keep an eye on them, especially now that some changes are taking place.

Anonymous said...

Officer Goldfeder is the brother-in-law of honorable Judge Emil Giordano, you can guarantee the administration at the prison and courthouse will be getting the message loud and clear very shortly! Get well soon Officer Goldfeder.

Anonymous said...

Solution to reduce inmate population and avoid hiring new guards. The County Executive should volunteer to teach a "corporate efficiency" course, then use his vast business experience and contacts to get inmates internships on Wall Street. Crime can continue but few are prosecuted on Wall Street, less are convicted, and even fewer see prison bars.