File photo by Andy Close.

Commissioners Approve RFP to Address Roof Restoration, Security at Warren County Jail

September 13, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – In the wake of inmate Michael Burham’s escape in July, the Warren County Commissioners approved a Request for Proposal during Wednesday’s meeting that will address roof restoration and repairs at the Warren County Jail.

Contractors may now submit proposals, with the deadline of Oct. 23, 2023.

The scope of work will address three main issues:

• Roofing material to be placed over the steel beams and secured for security, allowing fresh air into the yard. Currently, the roof is secured with a chain-linked fence. The County would prefer it be replaced with a metal mesh that would both allow airflow and prevent objects from passing through the membrane.

• Secure protection over the guard window. Currently there is a form guard window that is empty and provides a ledge to climb. This should be covered by a strong, secure material, not subject to human tampering.

• Razor wire placed around the roof’s perimeter with an access point for staff to make general repairs if necessary.

“The chain link fence on the roof of the yard where inmates go is being replaced, as long as we have a successful bidder that will not allow objects to pass through it,” said Warren County Commissioner Jeff Eggleston. “The increased security measure around the roof with razor wire and other materials will make it difficult for objects to pass through.”

Burham, who led enforcement on an 8-day manhunt before his recapture, was aided in his escape by a deficiency in the chain link fence before scaling the roof with a rope made of tied up bed sheets.

Burham is currently being held in the Erie County Jail, with a formal arraignment scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at the Warren County Courthouse on Thursday, Sept. 14.

A mandatory walk through for qualified contractors will be held at the Warren County Jail on Sept. 28, 2023 at 10 a.m.

“We’re trying to be as expeditious as we possibly can,” said Commissioner Tricia Durbin.


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