Citing Security Reasons, County Won’t Release Department of Corrections Report on Jail

August 24, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – Citing the connection between recommendations from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and security, Warren County officials will not disclose any staffing or facility changes in the aftermath of Michael Burham’s escape from the Warren County Jail.

“The prison board received a report from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections last week with multiple recommendations,” Solicitor Nathaniel Schmidt said in a prepared statement during Wednesday’s Prison Board meeting. “The prison board, along with the warden and staff, have already begun to implement steps on those recommendations.”

Schmidt stressed that all involved have cooperated with the review, including an internal review of the events leading up to Burham’s escape.

“Because they relate directly to the security of the facility and the safety of the public, this document and the specific recommendations must remain confidential,” Schmidt said. “The prison board has commenced and continues to conduct a meticulous and complete internal review of the event. The internal investigation has established a timeline of events and a cause and effect analysis of the escape. It also includes a review of all relevant policies and operations and consideration of any recommendations.

“In order to protect the integrity and security of prison operations, and because they relate to employment decisions and an ongoing internal investigation, this material must also remain confidential.”

Burham escaped from the jail on July 6 and was at large until he was apprehended on July 15.

“The prison board is absolutely committed to ensuring an event similar to the Burham escape never happens again,” Schmidt said.

      

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