Thomas Greishaw, Director
The Office of County Inspections and Services is responsible for maintaining a statewide program of independent field inspections of all county prisons. A minimum of every 12 months and a maximum of every 24 months, each county prison receives an inspection. Inspections determine prison compliance with controlling Commonwealth statutes and regulations. To support the inspection process, the Office of County Inspections and Services provides technical services to any requesting county prison. DOC county prison inspectors assist in the interpretation of state law, regulations, plus “best practices.” Training assistance is available through the Office of County Inspections and Services Resource Library. This library allows any county prison to borrow videos, books, and publications for staff development use.
The Inspection Process
County inspections are conducted under the Pennsylvania Code, Chapter 95, County Correctional Institutions. Effective October 13, 2009, the standards contain 48 essential regulations and 94 non-essential regulations. If a violation occurs in one or more of the essential regulations, a citation is issued. If a violation occurs in one or more of the non-essential regulations, a deficiency is issued. The inspection process evaluates each regulation individually. If a regulation requires a local policy and specifies certain criteria that must be contained in policy, the inspector reviews the policy for the necessary criteria. If policy or protocol is lacking in any area, a deficiency or citation is issued, until the prison chooses to make any necessary adjustment and comes into compliance.
Corrective action, if any, is solely the decision of the warden and the county administrator/prison board of that facility.
While the Office of County Inspections and Services has inspection oversight responsibility of county correctional facilities, the oversight is specific to Title 37 issues; the office does not have daily operational/investigative responsibilities. Any concern regarding a county facility should appropriately be directed to the warden/designee of the facility.
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(Note: The link above will redirect you from the DOC's Web site.)
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All requests for copies of a specific county's inspection report should be directed to the respective county, not to the Office of County Inspections and Services.