County sees savings from electronic monitoring

Lycoming County’s electronic monitoring savings have surpassed program costs to the tune of about $23,048, John Stahl, adult probation office supervisor, told the prison board Friday morning.

“We’re in the black,” he said.

Electronic monitoring and the reentry program, both implemented by the GEO Group, have cost the county $3,382,172 over nearly five years, but have paid for themselves and then some in terms of bed days saved at the prison, he said.

Stahl reported that, at a recent meeting including other reentry and electronic monitoring programs run by GEO, Lycoming County’s programming attendance records made others “a little jealous.”

“It was nice to see,” he said, adding, “We’re ahead of the game,” in terms of implementing such programs.

Having recently presented at conference in Miami, Florida, on behalf of the Criminal Justice Advisory Board, parole and reentry in front of well over 1,000 of his peers, Stahl said other counties, within Pennsylvania and nationwide, only recently have started programs such as treatment court or don’t have them at all, he said.

“We were able to share our story on a big scale,” he said. “There’s a lot to be proud of.”

On a related note, President Judge Nancy L. Butts congratulated the county’s Criminal Justice Advisory Board, which recently was recognized at the state level for its contributions, efforts and accomplishments over the past year, she said.

“It’s nice to know your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed,” she said.

In other business, the prison population continues to increase, but just barely.

The overall male population dropped to 288 in March from 291 in February and the female population climbed from 60 to 64, with the overall average daily population increasing from 362 to 363. There were 11 overcrowding transfers.

In March of 2018, the average daily population was 352.

The yearly average rests at 361 for now, higher than the average of 357 in both 2018 and 2017, but lower than the averages of 377 and 405 seen in 2016 and 2015 respectively.

Population data is provided via a chart explained at each meeting. The next meeting is slated for 8:30 a.m. May 10 at the courthouse.