The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 12, 2013

York County considers using inmate accounts to repay victims


The Associated Press

YORK — County officials here are debating whether money should be deducted from the personal accounts of prison inmates to pay money owed to victims and taxpayers.

Inmates at York County Prison use the accounts to buy snacks, sweatpants and other items from the commissary as well as paying for haircuts and contributing toward medical costs. They aren't allowed to carry cash.

Don O'Shell, the county chief of courts, said the county should deduct a percentage from the accounts to pay court-ordered costs, fines and restitution.

He said Westmoreland County Prison began doing that in mid-July and collected close to $15,000 by the end of last month.

Some officials expressed concern about the idea. Warden Mary Sabol said it could lead to groups being treated differently, spawning security concerns.