CJAB discusses county’s jail population

The Warren County Criminal Justice Advisory Board opened the year with a conversation about jail population.

According to Warren County Jail Warden Jon Collins, the jail population as of Thursday, Jan. 4 was 100 inmates, 74 male, 26 female. Of those, Collins said, 39 were incarcerated for probation-related offenses, 28 had been sentenced, and 11 were awaiting sentencing. In 2017, said Collins, a total of 768 inmates were processed. That’s an increase of 26 from 2016. The daily average inmate population in Dec. of 2016, Collins said, was 106.81. “It hasn’t been that lows since Dec. of 2015,” said Collins. The biggest change, said Collins, is the fact that 107 inmates were sentenced to state prison in 2016, as opposed to 62 in 2016.

The increase in turnaround has been a help to the county responsibility for inmates. “I’m not saying it’s a good thing to go to state prison,” said Collins.

But, he said, the decrease in the amount of inmates being housed in Warren reduces the amount of strain on county resources. Asked whether the fact that significantly more county residents were sentenced to state prison didn’t indicate a greater amount of overall crime within the county, Collins answered that it may, but that that fact would simply be a reflection of the ongoing drug epidemics that represent a national issue.

“It’s an epidemic is what it is,” said District Attorney Rob Greene. “It’s a national issue. We have a real drug problem in the nation, and we’re not immune to it.” With no changes to sentencing guidelines that might suggest that increase in the number of state sentences coming from Warren County, said Warren County Adult Probation Director Carl McKee, it’s likely to be a reflection of recidivism, which in Warren County hovers around 40 percent. The Pennsylvania rate of inmates at moderate risk of recidivism as of 2016 was 44.2 percent, according to Department of Corrections statistics.

Also present at Thursday’s meeting was Diane Brant, who presented information on the Anti-Child Trafficking Episcopal Mission of Warren County.