Cruel and unusual punishment, that’s what some are saying about the treatment of inmates at the Centre County Prison because there is no outdoor recreation area available.
At a meeting Thursday, more complaints, along with a review of the issues, were discussed.
Over a dozen individuals, with complaints, spoke up at the county prison board meeting, claiming without an opportunity to get fresh air outside, it’s not fair, or healthy, for inmates.
Two options are being explored.
Some asked if there are any alternatives, such as more work release opportunities, for inmates. Or new construction at the prison?
“The other side is more complicated, certainly more complex in both the planning and execution. That is if it’s feasible to provide some manner of outdoor recreation beyond what we are capable of now.”
And since it’s a prison, it’s more than a simple renovation project, as there are other issues also involved.
“That facility was built without a yard where people can walk around. The reality is, in corrections, it is very difficult to hire corrections officers. So, it’s not just a facility issue, it’s a staffing issue.”
As to allegations about cruel and unusual punishment.
“Well, I think we can look at that under a different everybody is going to have a vison on that. I’m quick to remind them, it is a prison. Unfortunately, that’s part of the conversation we have to do, keeping everything secure. How best we do moving forward is going to be part of the conversation.”
The Centre County Prison houses inmates from several other counties, and at least one of those counties says their inmates are not allowed outside.