Ex-Chesco Warden Pushed Out By May Escape

Ex-Chesco Warden Pushed Out By May Escape — Former Chester County Warden Ronald M. Phillips was pushed out due to Igor Vidra Bolte’s escape in May.

And the county prison had a K-9 program that ended in 1986.

County Commissioner Joshua Maxwell revealed these bits at today’s (Sept. 20) meeting of the prison board.

The board consists of the county commissioners, District Attorney Deborah Ryan, Sheriff Fredda Maddox, the county controller and the president judge of Common Pleas Court.

Phillips started at the prison in 1983 and worked his way up the ranks. He began a leave of absence in July and officially retired Aug. 30, the day before  Danelo Cavalcante’s escape.

He was replaced by Howard Holland, who had been police chief of Downingtown where Maxwell had been mayor.

Was there a search for Phillips’ replacement or was Holland merely ordained? That’s assuming Holland gets the permanent job as he is now merely interim warden.

We asked this earlier. Police and correction skills are not necessarily interchangeable and if Bolte’s escape caused Phillips to lose his job, is Holland’s in jeopardy?

Probably not considering the reception he got at today’s meeting.

Anyway, Maxwell conceded the prison has been short staffed with 60 of the 300 positions not being filled. He also admitted information about Cavalcante’s escape was woefully delayed from being transmitted to the community.

He said there were plans to return a K-9 program to the prison.

It has been widely noted that if the county Sheriff Department had maintained its highly regarded one, Cavalcante would have been rounded up within hours.

The program, however, was allowed to whither when Fredda Maddox was elected to the office in 2019.

By the way, the Sheriff Department is down 40 deputies.

Why is Chesco having so much trouble keeping people?

Ms. Maddox, a Democrat, is stepping down as sheriff in a bid to become a Chesco Common Pleas Court judge. The election is Nov. 7.

Bunny Welsh, who was Ms. Maddox’s predecessor, pointed out that it took her 10 years to develop the K-9 unit. She noted that it doesn’t just take highly trained dogs but highly trained handlers who will work unexpected hours.

Prison Fixes Get Green Light

The board approved, in response to the escape, a design phase for prison renovations with TranSystems. Proposed renovations include are enclosing the eight exercise yards, adding a sally port, and removing the basketball hoops as they are a liability issue along with a security one.

The TranSystems presenter noted that an enclosed yard would prevent drones from dropping contraband to the inmates.

The cost was estimated at between $2.5 and $3.5 million and the job will take six to nine months.

Also a temporary barrier will be installed where Cavalcante made his escape.

Holland Addresses Board

Holland addressed the board from the floor saying plans are in place to add razor wire to where Bolte escaped but there are construction delays. He said there also plans to add metal fencing where Cavalcante broke out.

He said he wants to add 50-75 cameras for $70,000 along with eight people to watch them. Holland says he plans to have more drills. He said wants an alarm system on an outside fence, drones and drone operators, oh, and a K-9 unit.

He said if he these programs Cavalcante would never have escaped.

On the other hand, if the prison was fully staffed and had more than one guard watching the exercise yard he probably wouldn’t have escaped either.

Public Comments

Before public comments, the audience was specifically told not to bring up the Sheriff Department K-9 unit.

Sally Mininger (sp) from Tredyffrin noted the hero of the Cavalcante matter was Border Patrol dog Yoda and then said Bunny Welsh had great program but was gutted when Freda Maddox took over as sheriff. She said there were but two dogs left when Cavalcante escaped at which point she was told to stop talking about the Sheriff Department’s K-9 unit.

She ended by saying it wouldn’t be necessary to reinstate the program if it had been gutted “in 1986 or whenever.”

Guy Ciarrocchi of Tredyffrin said commissioners failed the community. He wanted to know if the prison would start taking murderers until fully staffed or at least keep them in isolation.

Shelia Learner (sp) of Westtown said she never came to these meetings but is livid.

“You had one job to do . . .” she said. “And you failed it. You are not doing a good job and I think you have to think that this is not job for you.”

Daryl Cooper (sp) of East Marlboro Township said the board ratified two major proposals without the expertise to understand them. He did, however, complement Maxwell on his expressions of empathy at the start of the meeting.

A Malvern woman criticized Sheriff Maddox and Commissioner Marian Moskowitz for being almost invisible during the escape.

Ex-Chesco Warden Pushed Out By May Escape
TranSystems proposed temporary fix where Cavalcante made his escape

Ex-Chesco Warden Pushed Out By May Escape
They really, really want to get rid of the basketball hoops.

Ex-Chesco Warden Pushed Out By May Escape

Ex-Chesco Warden Pushed Out By May Escape

Mustafa Jackson Autopsy Shows Painful Death At Delco Prison

Mustafa Jackson Autopsy Shows Painful Death At Delco Prison — The autopsy of Mustafa Jackson is finally public thanks to the persistence of Broad + Liberty, and why the Dem-run Delaware County (Pa.) Council didn’t want this is quite clear.

Jackson, a 25-year-old paraplegic, was found dead in his cell at George Hill Correctional Facility on Feb. 12. He was laying face-down in an adult diaper with new and used catheters laying around. His autopsy says he died of urosepsis. Medical authorities believe the condition is extremely painful and his death was excruciating.

“Only Mustafa and God know how long it took him to die,” says Wally Nunn.

The County fought Broad+Liberty’s request for the autopsy results until a July ruling by Commonwealth Court in a separate case from Allegheny County.

Delco saw the writing on the wall and surrendered.

Why was this allowed to happen? Indifference? Incompetence? Both?

Delco took over operations of the prison on April 6, 2022. It had been private since 1998 when Nunn was chairman of Delco Council.

Nunn, in his Broad+Liberty article notes that in first ten months of government management three suicides — a tally not seen in a single year dating to at least 2015; the jail released the wrong inmate, and a homicide was recorded when an inmate strangled his cellmate.

He noted that the prison staff has voice dire concerns about conditions.

“We are… in fear of our safety on this job,” said Correction Officer Albert Johnson told County Council in December. “As of yesterday, two inmates stabbed. There have been more deaths in this prison since the county has come on. We are fearful for our lives… We get feces, we get urine thrown on us on a daily basis.”

He points out that Warden Laura Williams was subject of complaints at her previous post as chief deputy warden at Allegheny County Jail but the Delco hired her anyway.

Did you know she got the job with Delco despite having started her career in corrections in 2014 as a substance abuse counselor? That would mean she had but eight years experience before taking charge of one of a pretty significant government facility.

You think maybe she might have needed a bit more seasoning considering the medical indifference, murders, suicides and such that have occurred on her watch?

What could Delco Council have been thinking? It certainly wasn’t about the public.

Or the inmates.

Or the staff.

Nunn notes that the County spent $76 per day to house a prisoner in 2019. It’s now about $115 per day and climbing.

And why does Delaware County fight so hard to keep public records secret?

Mustafa Jackson Autopsy Shows Painful Death At Delco Prison
Delaware County Prison

Mustafa Jackson Autopsy Shows Painful Death At Delco Prison

He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 9-20-23

He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 9-20-23

Jxu cydt yi dej q luiiub je ru vybbut rkj q vyhu je ru aydtbut.

He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals. Benjamin Franklin Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day. PsalmsAnswer to yesterday’s William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals.
Benjamin Franklin

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