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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 15-154



Judicial Administration; CP-60-AD-1-2015

[45 Pa.B. 555]
[Saturday, January 31, 2015]


And Now, January 7, 2015, the 17th Judicial District Local Rule of Judicial Administration 17CR9756-UC, Re-entry Plan, is adopted for use in Union County, Court of Common Pleas of the 17th Judicial District, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, effective thirty (30) days after publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 The 17th Judicial District Court Administrator is Ordered and Directed to do the following:

 1) File seven (7) certified copies of this Order and Rule with the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts.

 2) Forward two (2) certified copies of this Order and Rule and a computer diskette containing the text of the Rule to the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 3) Forward one (1) certified copy of this Order and Rule to the Civil Procedural Rules Committee of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

 4) Copies shall be kept continuously available for public inspection in the Office of the Union County Prothonotary.

By the Court

President Judge




I—Sentencing Considerations

 The Court of Common Pleas of and for Union County, in collaboration with the Union County Probation Department have created this reentry plan with a focus on certain attainable goals. First and foremost are the rehabilitative needs of the offender. Clearly all offenders sentenced to periods of confinement in our county jail will eventually be returned to the community. Most of these individuals will be reintegrated into the community as part of a parole plan, while a very small percentage of offenders will serve their maximum sentence in confinement and will be returned to the community without the benefit of a structured parole plan. In either case, the likelihood the individual will be successful in a return to society is increased dramatically if their rehabilitative needs are accurately identified and addressed while they are still in confinement.

 Secondly, the Court must impose a sentence consistent with the protection of the public. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that individuals referred to the Union County Probation Department be subjected to a comprehensive Risk/Needs Assessment. This assessment shall be performed on all individuals referred to the field agency regardless of the manner in which their case is disposed. In cases where the Court has imposed a sentence of probation or intermediate punishment, there is a reasonable expectation that the individual is perceived to present a low risk to the public. Those individuals sentenced to confinement generally present an elevated risk to the public and through an approved assessment tool probation staff can identify areas of concern. Measures can then be taken to reduce those risk factors while the individual remains incarcerated.

 Thirdly, when imposing a sentence of confinement the Court shall ''consider the gravity of the offense as it relates to the impact on the life of the victim and on the community.'' This consideration moves a more punitive sentence to the forefront and places less emphasis on the rehabilitative needs of the offender or the risks the individual presents to the community at large. Nevertheless, planning for the eventual reentry of the individual into the community should begin immediately upon sentence commencement and shall include a Risk/Needs Assessment, goal identification and implementation of programming.

 Finally, the inherent costs associated with housing inmates in the county jail must be weighed against the punitive and rehabilitative needs of the offender and the risks the individual poses to the public. Due to the limited capacity of the Union County Jail, the institutional population is constantly well beyond 100%, resulting in inmates being housed in neighboring county jails at per diems ranging from $60 to $100. If the risks and needs of the offender can be addressed short of incarceration, sentences of probation or intermediate punishment should be considered. If incarceration remains the most viable option, then reentry of the offender into the community must be given forethought and planning from the time of sentence commencement.


 Among the most common obstacles facing Union County inmates are drug and/or alcohol addiction, lack of education, inadequate or no available housing, poor employment records coupled with lack of job skills, limited life skills and an absence of a positive support network. Additionally, some inmates struggle with mental health disorders including anger issues and/or poor impulse control. Many of these individuals are without the resources needed to obtain appropriate treatment and/or prescription medications.

 Union County is fortunate to be in a somewhat unique position. In 2012, the county implemented a day reporting program which now provides programming for many of the obstacles facing inmates as they prepare for reentry. In April of 2013, all programming was moved to the Day Reporting Center at 480 Hafer Road, Lewisburg, PA. In a sense, Union County provides ''one stop shopping'' in a building which previously housed the local Army Reserve Unit. Unlike many county day reporting programs, Union County not only owns the facility and the five acres of land on which it sits, but they also employ the staff providing oversight for the various programs. Full time employees with offices at the Day Reporting Center include a program director, two adult probation officers (one whose primary focus is community service), a maintenance supervisor, and an administrative assistant. Contracted services provided at the center include G.E.D. instruction through the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, Retail Theft Prevention contracted through the National Association For Shoplifting Prevention and Drug and Alcohol Counseling contracted through Gaudenzia, Inc. Additional non-contracted services include life skills through the Community Action Agency, job search using computers linked to Career Link, coordination of community service both on grounds and off, and Anger Management and Credit counseling as needed.


 In determining an offender's eligibility to participate in a formal reentry program, the Union County Probation Department (UCPD) shall first consider the criteria set forth under 61 Pa.C.S.A. 4503. If the offender meets these eligibility requirements the court shall, when imposing sentence, designate the offender as being eligible for formal reentry. Additionally, the sentencing authority shall order the offender to successfully participate in any and all mandated treatment or programming as directed by the UCPD. Any failure to do so will result in the offender's eligibility to participate in formal reentry being revoked as herein described. (Appendix A)

 The general requirements for formal reentry shall include but may not be limited to the following:

 1. The UCPD certified that it has conducted an appropriate assessment of the treatment needs and risks of the inmate using a standardized assessment tool.

 2. The UCPD certified that it developed a program plan based on the assessment conducted under paragraph 1, that is designed to reduce the risk of recidivism through the use of Recidivism Risk Reduction Incentive (RRRI) programs authorized and approved by the Court.

 3. The UCPD advised the inmate that he or she is required to successfully participate in the designated treatment and/or programs and successfully complete same.

 4. The inmate has successfully participated in all required RRRI programs and, if an appropriate period of time was available, has successfully completed those programs.

 5. The inmate has maintained a good conduct record following the imposition of the RRRI minimum sentence.

 6. The reentry plan for the inmate is adequate.

 7. Individual conditions and requirements for parole have been established.

 8. The UCPD has certified that the inmate continues to be an eligible offender.

 9. There is no reason to believe that the inmate poses an unreasonable risk to public safety.

 Inmates designated as being eligible to participate in a formal reentry program shall be considered parole eligible in accordance with the provisions set forth under 61 Pa.C.S.A. 4505(c) referenced Recidivism Risk Reduction Incentive (RRRI)-minimum sentence. The RRRI minimum sentence shall be equal to 3/4th of the minimum sentence imposed. For purposes of these calculations, partial days shall be rounded to the nearest whole day.


 Inmates designated by the Court as being eligible for formal reentry shall be expected to follow all rules and regulations imposed by the Warden of the Union County Jail or his designee, all rules and conditions imposed by the Union County Probation Department, and all directives from treatment or program providers. Furthermore, the inmate shall comply with all conditions ordered by the sentencing authority.

 All allegations of misconduct shall be reported and documented in accordance with the Union County Prison-Inmate Disciplinary Procedures Policy. (Appendix B) Acts of misconduct which potentially could impact on an inmate's eligibility for formal reentry shall be reviewed jointly by Union County Prison staff and the Chief Probation Officer as set forth in Appendix B. Inmates found to be in noncompliance shall be sanctioned using an assignment of points with an accumulation of 5 points or more disqualifying an inmate from formal reentry eligibility (Appendix C). An added penalty for accruing 5 or more points shall be that the inmate will be ineligible for parole for one additional week beyond his or her minimum sentence for each accrued point. For purposes of calculation, the minimum sentence shall be the term imposed by the sentencing authority, not the RRRI minimum.



Policy Number: 95.240



Date of Issue: 2-Apr-10
Revision Date: 4-Sep-12
Reviewed Annually: See annual review page

I. Policy

 It is the policy of the Union County Prison to operate a disciplinary process that provides clear notice of prohibited behavior, outlines a fundamentally fair hearing process, and establishes consistent sanctions for violations of Prison rules and regulations. It is also the policy of the Prison that information concerning an inmate's criminal acts shall be forwarded to appropriate court or law enforcement officials for consideration for prosecution.

II. Procedures

 Every inmate under the jurisdiction of the Prison is expected to follow Prison rules and regulations. In the event that an inmate violates Prison rules and regulations, the violation shall be reported and disposed of either by an informal or formal resolution process. The informal resolution process shall be used for those violations that are considered less serious in nature, while the formal resolution process shall be used for violations of a more serious nature. Attachment A provides a list of misconduct that may result in the commencement of disciplinary procedures. Only Class II and Class III charges are subject to informal resolution by the Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor. Class I charges must be disposed of formally by the Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor.

A. Misconduct Reports

 1 Every misconduct is to be reported on a Misconduct Report. An inmate charged with any of the listed misconduct will receive a copy of the report.

 2 The Misconduct Report is used to give notice to the inmate of the misconduct with which he/she has been charged and to report the facts upon which the charges are based. The Report will be used as evidence against the inmate during the misconduct hearing or the informal resolution meeting.

 3 The Misconduct Report shall be written by either the charging staff member or contract personnel who has personal knowledge of the misconduct or by a staff member at the direction of a person who has personal knowledge of the misconduct.

 4 The Misconduct Report will be written and submitted to the Lieutenant, Prison Supervisor or OIC before the tour of duty concludes on the same day/shift that the charging staff member or contract personnel have knowledge of the violation. If not, the Report must include a justification for the delay.

 5 The Misconduct Report shall be investigated as required, reviewed and approved by the Lieutenant or Prison Supervisor prior to service of the Misconduct Report on the inmate. The Lieutenant or Prison Supervisor, as an alternative to approving the Misconduct Report, may refer the matter for informal resolution under this Policy.

 6 The Lieutenant will enter all pertinent information regarding the misconduct into the Department misconduct tracking system.

B. Service of Misconduct Report

 1 The inmate shall be personally served with the Misconduct Report the same day the report is written. If the Misconduct Report is not served the same day the report is written, the Lieutenant or Prison Supervisor must determine why the Report was not served and supply justification.

 2 Someone other than the charging staff member will serve the Misconduct Report.

 3 The staff member who serves the Misconduct Report shall record the date and time of service on the Misconduct Report immediately prior to giving the inmate a copy of the Misconduct Report.

C. Informal Resolution of Misconduct

 1 The misconduct charge(s) eligible for informal resolution are:

 a. all Class II charges and;

 b. all Class III charges

 2 The Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor will review all eligible Misconduct Reports for informal resolution. The staff member issuing the misconduct may recommend informal resolution for eligible charges, but the Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor, who will base his/her choice on the relative seriousness of the misconduct and the inmate's previous misconduct history, shall make the decision. The Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor must justify the reason why an eligible charge was not referred for informal resolution under the immediate action section of the Misconduct Report. All misconducts selected for informal resolution will be logged.

 3 The Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor will meet with the inmate for disposition of the misconduct charge(s) within seven working days. The reporting staff member is encouraged, but not required, to attend the meeting. No assistance or witnesses are permitted at these meetings. The inmate will be permitted to give his/her version of the events at the meeting.

 4 At the conclusion of the meeting, the Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor shall take one of the following actions and note the action taken on a General Report form:

 a. no action

 b. reprimand and warning;

 c. up to seven days cell restriction

 d. up to seven days loss of specified privileges (telephone, yard, dayroom, etc.);

 e. one week loss of commissary;

 f. assignment of additional work duties for which the inmate shall not be compensated; or

 g. assess restitution for damaged or destroyed property of Union County or another inmate, provided that the inmate agrees to make restitution. If the inmate refuses to agree to make restitution, the matter shall be referred back to the Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor for formal resolution.

 5 When the Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor assess restitution for damaged or destroyed property of Union County or another inmate, 50% thereof can be taken from the current balance of the inmate's inmate account and 50% thereof in subsequent months until the debt is satisfied. However, funds shall not be deducted from the inmate account until such time as an appeal or the time for an appeal has passed.

 6 The copy of the form designated for the inmate is given to him/her at the conclusion of the meeting. All other copies of the form are to be disseminated as indicated on the form.

 7 The inmate may appeal the action taken at the meeting to the Warden, but only in those cases where the inmate believes that the action is disproportionate to the misconduct. The inmate has seven days to appeal.

D. Misconduct Hearing

 1 A misconduct hearing shall be held for all Class I misconduct charges and as provided in Section II.C. of this Policy.

 2 The Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor shall conduct the misconduct hearing.

 3 The misconduct hearing shall be scheduled no less than 24 hours or no more than seven working days, excluding weekends and County holidays, after service of the Misconduct Report.

 4 The inmate shall be informed of the time of the hearing 24 hours in advance of the scheduled misconduct hearing.

 5 The inmate will be present during the misconduct hearing, unless the inmate waives that right in writing or refuses to attend.

 6 If the charged inmate becomes disruptive at the hearing or refuses to follow the instructions given by the Lieutenant or Prison Supervisor, he/she will be removed and the hearing conducted without the inmate being present.

 7  Inmate Assistance—

 a. In cases when it is apparent that an inmate is not capable of collecting and presenting evidence effectively on his/her own behalf, assistance shall be permitted. The criterion for capability is the inability of the inmate to understand the English language or the inability to read or understand the misconduct charge(s) and/or the evidence.

 b. The Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor will approve/disapprove requests for an inmate to have assistance at the hearing.

 c. If approved by the Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor, the inmate shall be permitted assistance at the hearing from any staff member or any inmate in the same population status.

 d. The inmate shall be permitted to meet with the assistant for an appropriate period of time before the hearing.

 8 At the hearing, the misconduct charge(s) shall be read to the inmate. The Lieutenant or Prison Supervisor shall request the inmate's plea to each individual charge.

 9 Inmate Version—The inmate may submit his/her version in writing or may orally present his/her version that shall be summarized as part of the hearing record.

 10 Witnesses

 a. The inmate may request to have up to three witnesses or a written statement from witnesses for the hearing.

 b. All witnesses shall be approved by the Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor.

 c. The Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor may approve the presence of a staff member or witness only if the staff member or witness has knowledge of the incident, is present on facility grounds, and only if the testimony is needed to establish the guilt or innocence of the inmate.

 d. Up to three relevant witnesses, who have been properly requested and approved, may be permitted. One of the three witnesses may be the staff member who witnessed the misconduct violation or the charging staff member.

 e. If an inmate witness or assistant becomes disruptive at the hearing or refuses to follow the instructions given by the Lieutenant or Prison Supervisor, he/she shall be removed and the hearing conducted without the witness or assistant being present.

 f. The Lieutenant or Prison Supervisor may question any witness. The charged inmate shall be permitted a reasonable opportunity to pose relevant questions to any adverse witness. The Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor shall control the extent of questioning.

 g. The Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor shall make determinations of credibility of a witness.

 h. All testimony shall be under oath.

 i. If the inmate elects to plead guilty or waive his/her right to a hearing, no witnesses shall be required.

 11 Designee—In the event the Lieutenant or Prison Supervisor is involved in the misconduct directly, the Warden will assign another staff member to replace the Lieutenant or Prison Supervisor at the hearing.

 12 Any discipline shall be recorded and made part of the inmate's permanent record.

 13 At the conclusion of the hearing, the Lieutenant and Prison Supervisor shall impose punishment as follows:

 a. Loss of privileges, being those actions described in Section II.C.4 of this Policy; or

 b. Segregation

 14 Conditions in Segregation shall be as follows, except if safety or security is a concern:

 a. The cell will be clean, well lighted, heated, ventilated and sanitary;

 b. The cell shall be furnished with a mattress, bedding and toilet facilities;

 c. Except in special circumstances, as for example a suspected suicide threat, the inmate shall wear prison issued clothing;

 d. Three meals per day shall be provided, identical with the meals provided to the remainder of the jail population;

 e. A bathing and shaving schedule shall be maintained, including the minimum twice weekly opportunities;

 f. Toilet tissue and drinking water shall be provided;

 g. The inmate shall have an opportunity to exercise;

 h. The regular review of segregation shall be practiced, provided that the time interval shall not exceed five (5) days;

 i. The segregation unit shall be adequately supervised;

 j. Writing privileges shall not be denied to inmates in segregation;

 k. The chaplain shall be permitted to visit regularly; and

 l. The medical staff shall visit all inmates in segregation on his/her regularly scheduled visit to the prison.

 m. When an inmate in disciplinary status and is deprived of any usual authorized items or activity a report of action is made to the prison administrator.

 n. Inmates in disciplinary status are given the same meals served to the general population.

 15 Corporal punishment, punishment by placing in a dark cell, and all cruel, inhumane or degrading punishments shall be completely prohibited.


Class 1 Misconduct Charges

 Assignment of five points and immediate disqualification from formal reentry eligibility—

 1. Commission of any act which results in the filing of felony or misdemeanor criminal charges.

 2. Failure to return to the Union County Prison following an authorized release for purposes of employment or programming.

 3. Inmate determined to be at a location other than that which was authorized as a condition of partial confinement.

 4. Engaging in sexual acts with others or sodomy.

 5. Assault against correctional staff.

 6. Refusing to work or attend mandatory programs or encouraging others to do the same.

 7. Possession of contraband including but not limited to tobacco, drug paraphernalia, any illicit or mind altering substance, alcohol, weapons or other items, which in the hands of an inmate, present a threat to the inmate, others, or to the security of the facility.

Class 2 Misconduct Charges

 Assignment of two points—

 1. Tattooing or other forms of self-mutilation.

 2. Possessing tattooing instruments or materials.

 3. Gambling or conducting a gambling operation or possessing gambling paraphernalia.

 4. Extortion or blackmail.

 5. Possessing or circulating a petition which is a document signed by two or more person's requesting or demanding that something happen or not happen without the authorization of the Warden.

 6. Using abusive, obscene, or inappropriate language toward correctional or probation staff.

 7. Violating the Union County Prison visitation regulations and/or policies.

 8. Unauthorized use of mail or telephone including use of cell phone.

 9. Refusing to obey an order from correctional or probation staff.

 10. Theft of property from another inmate.

Class 3 Misconduct Charges

 Assignment of one point—

 1. Loaning or borrowing property from other inmates.

 2. Lying to correctional or probation staff.

 3. Failing to report the presence of contraband.

 4. Body punching or horseplay.

 5. Taking food from the food cart without authorization.

 6. Possessing any item not authorized for retention or receipt by an inmate, not specifically enumerated as a Class 1 or 2 Misconduct Charge.

 7. Any violation of a rule or regulation in the Union County Department of Corrections Inmate Handbook not specified as a Class 1 or 2 Misconduct Charge.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 15-154. Filed for public inspection January 30, 2015, 9:00 a.m.]

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