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Officials discuss possible prison merger

County Commissioners say they are taking all employee's livelihoods into account in their decisions.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Wayne and Pike County Commissioners recently hired a consulting firm to conduct a study on the counties' correctional facilities.  

In recent years, the number of people serving time at the county level has decreased because of the changes within the judicial system and programs to help first-time offenders serve time outside of prison walls.

"The last couple years, we've been under 50 around 50, and we'll bounce up to 70 once in a while, but it goes back down again, so you know we just thought, let's take a look at what we can do down there," said Commissioner Brian Smith, Wayne County.

The study suggests both counties consider merging facilities into one, citing low incarceration numbers and staffing shortages.  

"We know that there's a potential savings, but we also know that on our end, we will incur different costs than what we have now," said Smith.

If this merger is to occur, both facilities would be consolidated to Pike County, which would mean moving all of the inmates from Wayne County to Pike County.

"The demographics, the programs, the sizes, all those things point toward, if we go down that road, that that's probably the more likely route," said Smith.

The staff at the Wayne County facility would also be given the opportunity to transfer to the Pike County facility if those positions remain empty.  

County Commissioners say they are taking those employee's livelihoods into account in their decisions.

"A lot of things remain to be seen in a lot of studying has to be done before this ever comes to fruition, but certainly, you know, we are taking a serious look at it," said Smith.

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