The Inspection Process
The inspections are conducted in accordance with Pennsylvania Code Title 37, Chapter 95, County Correctional Institutions. Effective October 13, 2009, the minimum operational regulations contain 48 essential standards and 94 non-essential standards. If a violation occurs in one or more of the essential standards, a citation is issued. If a violation occurs in one or more of the non-essential standards, a deficiency is issued. The inspection process evaluates each standard individually. These inspections consist of a review of written local policies/procedures, supporting documentation, and an inspection of the physical plant of the facility, to validate compliance with each of the required standards. If the 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 insufficient in any area, a deficiency or citation is issued, until the facility chooses to make any necessary adjustment and comes into compliance.
Corrective action, if any, is solely the decision of the warden and the governing county prison authority/county prison board of that facility.
While the Office of County Inspections and Services has inspection oversight responsibility of county correctional institutions, the oversight is specific to the Title 37 regulations. The Department of Corrections does not have daily operational/investigative responsibilities over the county correctional institutions throughout the Commonwealth. Any concern regarding a county facility should appropriately be directed to the warden/designee or the governing county prison authority/county prison board of the facility.
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.