SUNBURY — The Northumberland County Prison Board members expect a drug and alcohol treatment program facility to be completed around the same time as the future prison construction project later this year.

Commissioner Sam Schiccatano, the vice chairman of the board and county leader overseeing construction of the $29 million correctional facility at the Northumberland County South Campus in Coal Township, said Gaudenzia Inc. is in the process of establishing itself at the county-owned site. It is expected to be completed by this summer; the prison project is expected to be completed by July.

"So far, so good," Schiccatano said on Friday during the prison board meeting.

A lease agreement with Gaudenzia Inc. for creation of a detoxification and rehabilitation program at the site is being negotiated. In the meantime, the county is allowing Gaudenzia to come to the campus to fix up one of the buildings while a lease agreement is being negotiated. Gaudenzia assumes all risk and the county will not reimburse the organization if the two entities cannot come to an agreement.

Gaudenzia operates 151 drug and alcohol treatment programs for men and women in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. Services include specialty programs for pregnant and parenting mothers, adolescents and people suffering from co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse. Outpatient and intensive outpatient services will be available, and a seven-bed detox and 24-bed residential program will follow.

District Attorney Tony Matulewicz also said the Criminal Justice Advisory Board has been discussing a central booking area on the site as well that will include a fee to run the station from its local police users.

The original county prison was heavily damaged in a fire in January 2015. Construction for the new $29 million prison is scheduled to be finished later this summer on the former Northwestern Academy site, now called the Northumberland County South Campus, in Coal Township. The prison system has been headquartered at State Correctional Institute-Coal Township. 

Email Justin Strawser at jstrawser@dailyitem.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinLStrawser.

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