CLEARFIELD – Inmate safety concerns were a topic of discussion at Tuesday’s Clearfield County Prison Board meeting. A weekend inmate at the Clearfield County Jail attended the meeting and raised concerns with the board.
James Reese of Clearfield explained to the board that his sentence allows him to serve weekends, Friday night through Sunday afternoon, because of his work location, which is out of the area and often out of state.
He said that recently drugs were found in the common room of the block where he had been staying. He was not there when they were discovered and didn’t know anything about them.
During a conversation with the warden, Reese said he was told that he would be housed in a different block when he returned.
He said those who have the weekend sentences are often considered “snitches” by the other inmates, regardless of whether or not they actually are.
However, Reese said when he returned to the jail this past weekend, he was placed in his former block.
Another inmate told him that a corrections officer had told the other inmates that he was a snitch and after that, he felt he was in a threatening situation.
Furthermore, Reese is a diabetic and he said for several hours he repeatedly requested to be taken to the dispensary in order to check his blood sugar and to take his medicine; however, the COs wouldn’t take him. When he was finally allowed to, his blood sugar tested dangerously low at 35.
Reese added that when he arrived home on Sunday, someone had scattered trash in his yard, and he has felt threatened in other ways and said he fears for his life if he returns to the jail.
The board had copies of documentation indicating that Reese had refused to go for his morning medication on Sept. 8 and Sept. 15, which Reese denied was true. He stated that he does not dare skip testing his blood sugar and taking medicine.
Controller Tom Adamson also questioned the reports, noting that someone who is diabetic cannot afford to skip medication.
Warden Gregory Collins did not address the concerns directly but he did ask if Reese’s sentence could be reviewed.
He asked how Reese was able to attend the meeting if he worked out of the area, and Collins said if Reese was able to serve his time full-time, he would complete it much faster. Also, he said they would be able to transfer him to another facility and away from those threatening him.
Reese responded that his employer was able to give him the time off. He also said that he would like to have his sentence changed, so that he could serve under house arrest and not return to the jail.
Board Chairman President Judge Fredric Ammerman said they were not able to make changes to his sentence at that time and that he would have to review the matter.
He said then that they would take the concerns under advisement. Reese asked what he should do this coming weekend and Ammerman responded that he would have to report to the jail.