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    Posted on August 18th, 2011 Becky 2 comments

        “If there’s another suicide you should all fall on your sword,” Kent Kroehler told the Prison Board this morning.  “If there’s a third suicide,” he continued, “You should all resign.  This whole board should resign.”
        It was not your usual Prison Board Meeting.  It was actually very good and James Laughman, the Human Services Director of Lancaster County, and Kent Kroehler were simply excellent.
        The “serious” side will come tomorrow.  Today, some side-light highlights:
        District Attorney Craig Stedman took great offense to a remark made early in the meeting, and after ceasing his constant texting and thinking about it for several minutes he arose to address the remark.  As he was stating, “Lancaster County is extemely progressive,”  Linda Moskal, whose son died in the prison, said to me in astonishment, “His nose is going to grow so big!”
        Warden Vincent Guarini told the Board and the public that we have had the hottest weather in 50 years.  He said the prison is doing their best to alleviate the problem by – time out of cells – tubs of ice – fans – the smoke exhaust system being left on all the time – a dress down policy for the inmates and the serving of cold food.
        “I could take him,” Linda told me as the Warden mumbled on.
        It was mentioned by the Warden and a Deputy that this is the Islamic holy month and 35 or 36 inmates are involved.  That number went down to 26 according to a deputy and they both declared it was all going “well” and “running very smoothly,” however what that meant or its signifigance to anything was never mentioned.
        The Warden and several others reported that the women are all excited about video aerobics tapes the prison recently purchased.    A deputy reported that several items have been added to the recreation program – ping pong, blongo ball and of course, those aerobic videos for the women.
        It costs $51.55 per day to house a prisoner.  The daily caloric intake provided by the prison through a contactor is 3,000 calories.  A prison employee said the food was great.  Tom Yeager, the head of Justice & Mercy said, “The food is the crappiest I have ever had.  I’ve been in a lot of prisons and Lancaster has the crappiest food.”
        The meeting ran almost three hours, and again, it was ten times better than any previous Board Meeting I have attended.
        Laughman and Kroehler gave very specific recommendations to prevent suicides.  Commissioner Craig Lehman had very specific comments about the prison.  The group “Have A Heart” made a brief presentation and provided a hand-out that had been mailed to every Board member and there was much more.
    That will come tomorrow.


    2 responses to “NOT YOUR USUAL BOARD MEETING!”

    1. I was also very impressed with the meeting. The folks from Have a Heart were just awesome. We just may see some positive changes at the prison.The warden has promised to let me see a video of my son {dying on the floor}to see how long he layed there….the DA said I will NOT be able to see any of my sons records, guess he has something to hide. Craig Lehmans office just called me to see if they can help me..Wow. A year later.. refreshing. Becky, you are just the bomb. Your kindness was just the best. Today was so very hard for helped me thru it..and yes…I sure did say those things..and many more! All I know is my son died drug free on the prison floor..and the cororners office will not release the autopsy to the prison, they say cause it is a criminal investigation. Yet, the police and the DA say the case is closed..yikes!! I was so impressed with you just taking those notes, and asking those good questions..thankyou soo much Becky!!!Here is hoping some changes, that are good…will happen at the prison…

    2. It was good to see you again! I am so glad Craig Lehman’s office called. Sounds like he’s doing what a good commissoner shoud! We will stay after them and try and get some answers!