Cambria County Prison hiring 9 corrections officers, aims to cut overtime costs

Jan. 11—EBENSBURG, Pa. — Lifted by the hiring of nine full-time corrections officers, Cambria County Prison officials say they are moving forward with steps to reduce costs and become fully staffed.

Warden Christian Smith told the county's prison board Wednesday that the facility will have all of its full-time positions filled, but there are currently no per-diem officers.

Over the past year, the prison has seen a decrease in corrections officers, which has caused an increase in overtime.

Prison administration also met with officials from Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center about ways that the two entities can coordinate when prisoners are hospitalized as each inmate requires two officers and that has incurred a large amount of overtime in 2022, according to prison officials.

A decrease of $1.29 per meal from September forward occurred because the meals were brought in during the kitchen construction project and some premade items were not used, prison food service director Jeff Callihan said in a report submitted to the board.

Smith told the board about damage that occurred on the property during recent weather events.

"Over the last two weeks of the year, two of the light poles going up to the prison were knocked down due to weather," he said.

"It was found that the base(s) rusted away, and they needed replaced."

The cost to replace the light poles is approximately $2,500.

Smith added that the prison submitted the final documentation to renegotiate its housing contract with the U.S. Marshals, and it will take several weeks to hear back. The contract brought in $152,180 in December and $2,291,730 in 2022.