Special Report: Lebanon County Correctional Facility, Lebanon, PA


I received the following via email. I decided to post here with permission. This needs to go viral and if not viral at least be seen by as many people as possible. People need medical treatment, to be treated in safe and humane surroundings; Its Winter, give them extra blankets… And the facility needs to be cleaned up- with correctional budgets at all time highs, there is no excuse. 

 

Just spent a week in Lebanon County Correctional Facility for violating curfew on probation. Inmates are literally freezing and being denied jackets and extra blankets. Additionally, the place has a dangerous mold problem throughout the facility including, but not limited to the wall of the gymnasium that leads to the kitchen and the air vents in cell blocks. The moisture from the showers and the spraying of the kitchen is the likely culprit but the situation isn’t addressed and I can’t imagine the place passing a random inspection. I would imagine they get advanced warnings of inspections and perhaps the situation is either overlooked or inspectors are paid off. This moisture also accumulates on the walls and windows in conjunction with the condensation and inmates are stepping through shallow puddles that spread to the foot of their bunks.

This is causing a serious health problem…the majority of the population is sick with various ailments and their “quarantine” for new inmates is a joke…new prisoners are not separated prior to seeing medical and receiving their TB tests – they are merely put into an open room on the same block as the other inmates on outmate (work release – where almost none of the inmates are actually working) who have been tested and cleared by medical, sharing use of the same facilities and day room objects/items. There is absolutely no attempt to separate these inmates from the others. The facility was also over maximum capacity by triple digits as of a week ago today and likely still is. While waiting to see medical I overheard medical staff tell correctional officers that they could no longer accept “sick call” slips from inmates as they had already received more of a work load than they could handle, meaning inmates aren’t given the medical attention that they have the right to and are requesting. This is absolutely heartbreaking. Nothing is done about this.

Oh and I witnessed an inmate scraping a substantial amount of ice off of the INSIDE of the window in room 8 of Outmate Upper just this morning.

Anyone or anywhere you could point me towards that might care or be able to take any kind of action. I’m sending this information to the editor of the local paper but coming from an inmate I doubt that I will be taken seriously.

Via Daniel Uffner

Mailing Address: 730 E. Walnut St.
Lebanon, PA  17042
Phone Number: 717-274-5451
Fax Number: 717-274-1338
Department Head: Robert J. Karnes, Warden
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23 thoughts on “Special Report: Lebanon County Correctional Facility, Lebanon, PA

  1. Back in September 2009 I was placed in LCCF for a probation violation. I had never been in trouble before and my probation was only one year. I was going through a custody battle and outside the courtroom I got really loud with my ex-husband’s wife. They called the police after I left the courthouse and told them that I threatened her life, which I didn’t. They knew I was on probation and they used it as a chance to be spiteful towards me.

    The next morning the cops came knocking on my door at home to arrest me because we all know that on probation one can not have any police contact. I was in my nightgown still. I had to beg the officers to go upstairs and get me a shirt and pants. I am diagnosed with Bipolar Type II Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). I had been in therapy and medication management since 2002. I told the officers this and asked if they could please get my medications from the safe that were on the desk right in front of them so we could take them with us. They said they weren’t allowed. I told them how dangerous it was for me to go off my medication cold turkey without a doctor’s help. They mumbled something about I would see a doctor in jail. Seeing as I had never been in jail before I had no reason to doubt them.

    When I was in booking there was another man in another cell who was being given prescription medication that he had brought with him from his home. I questioned the officers in booking about this and told them about the officers who brought me in refused to bring my medications. The officers in booking told me it’s all at the officer’s discretion as to whether they bring in someone’s prescription medications. Besides I can see a doctor once I get settled in at LCCF.

    Once I got to LCCF I was placed in a holding cell. I began to have a panic attack. I started hyperventilating and I was scared out of my mind. Someone finally noticed after about 20 minutes and took me back to medical. The nurse calmed me down, but not I blurted out something during my agitated state. During my agitated state I blurted out that I didn’t think I could live if I lost my children, mind you, I was going through a custody battle,

    With that they labeled me as suicidal and didn’t bother with sticking me in quarantine. They stuck me in a cell back where a few other cells were where there are a few open showers are. It’s basically behind the small quarantine room with the small enclosed room where the COs sit and keep an eye on us between the two. They took all my clothes including underwear. Gave me this large green vest that came to my knees with Velcro closures. They gave me a matching green blanket. I had nothing else. No mattress, no pillow, Nothing. I had to sleep on that very cold metal bunk bed shivering each and every night.

    You’d think that seeing as I told them about my mental disorders, my prescription medications, and them labeling me as suicidal they would have made me see a doctor and a psychiatrist ASAP. However, they didn’t. I basically went off my prescription medications cold turkey and was feeling the horrible effects from it. I didn’t see a medical doctor until a week later. I didn’t see a psychiatrist until another week later.

    Once I finally seen the psychiatrist I told him where I went for therapy, who my therapist was, who my psychiatrist was (the person who prescribed my medications), the addresses and phone numbers of said people, and exact names and dosages of the prescriptions. He completely ignored me and prescribed his own medicinal cocktail. Seeing as I had already been dealing with these disorders and medicinal cocktails since 2002 I argued with him about his prescriptions and told him that I worked willingly with my psychiatrist for a long time to get the right cocktail that worked for me. He once again ignored me. He did say that I have a right to not take the medications he prescribes, however, the COs might think it’s best to keep me on suicide watch. I couldn’t stand being in that cell one more moment without clothes or warm blankets so I agreed to take the medications he prescribed.

    They didn’t have any room for me in general population so they placed me in work release. I took my medication as prescribed. I was in LCCF for a total of 2 months and 2 weeks. Emotionally I was severally depressed, I was always crying, I thought about suicide but I didn’t dare tell anyone. The medication made me utterly paranoid.

    All the way back in 2009 there was mold everywhere even then. Mold was rampant in the showers of work release, in the gym around where the doors leading to the kitchen. At times there were puddles of water on the floor of the gym where the roof leaked. If we had any laundry going out to be washed it would be washed with the mop heads that we used to mop the floors at 4-something AM right after breakfast. When our laundry came back it was usually still damp and smelled like dirty mop water. I soon learned to wash my socks and underwear by hand with my bar of ivory soap that I bought from commissary. I witnessed so many times where other inmates needing to see a doctor and the COs telling them put in a request form and the doctor will get to you when he gets time. There were times when COs would tell us all that the doctor wasn’t taking anymore requests. There is no doctor there all the time. They come once a week and take requests in order that they come in. Meanwhile people get sick and it spreads throughout the cell block.

    The most disgusting thing I witnessed was a 16 year old girl in work release (no room in general population) making out with a 35 year old woman. Everyone just ignored it. I got so fed up one night as they were cuddled up doing things to each other that I caused a scene and finally the COs removed the 16 year old girl. The COs knew about all of this because there are camera running 24/7 and there’s no way they couldn’t know. A 16 year old and a 35 year old… enough was enough.

    Since my time in there I’ve heard so many horror stories, some like mine, some even worse, such as my son’s friend, Tori, who died in LCCFs care. Something has to be done, my story is nothing new. This and a lot worse happens to inmates all across this country. It makes me sad that inmates can be treated like this and that so many are ok with it. Why are they ok with it? It’s because the public has been brainwashed to believe that all inmates are animals and don’t deserve basic rights of a human being. It’s time that this line of thinking stop! It’s time a lot of things stop!

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  2. short and sweet this place is not a correctional facility I have other comments to come and if you have time an you were there such as I was longer than I was suppose to I want to pass a petition around shortly keep eyes and ears open be back soon if you want to indoor ICESKATE GO TO LCCF

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  3. short and sweet they messed up on my meds an my mother seen it an so did the gaurds who arnt to give meds and don’t want to they donthave nurses on weekends who know most answers to meds ? which Gaurds cant help to figure out My first Amendment Rghts were taken and my Grievences was never answered the Adminastration needs to be fired and giving to trust worthy people who Ha ve some kind of compastion for people who make mistake an the people who keep coming back need to be rehabbed not put on parole or probation Im filing suit against the county and the prison for my rights I fought as a Veteran for are rights and you have none according to Lebanon county prison an county the way u r treated an don’t Blame the Cos or the nurses Its above there jobs that make them do what u see on the inside an also some of the inmates make it worst for the others an when one person fucks up YOU don’t make everyone pay the price this is not the military qand some say prisonis worst than war an I say if you aint walk in my shoes or any other soldiers footsteeps than don’t talk bullshit you don’t know about

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  4. I was in Lccf and there are 2 side side to ever story but as a prisoner yours doesn’t get the attention it should I have several issues against this place an I have had My 1st Amendment rights taken fro me me not only in the jail but by a Judge and a Detective in Lebanon County they seem to Get away with what ever they want an I am about to change this and for those who khow the Doctor In Charge Im going to show people he an Mr Karnes are responsible for the wrong doing in LCCF I was giving wrong Meds because karnes thinks he can do what he wants an we needed Nurses to hand out meds because they change pharmaceutical places for the cheeper meds and you nor the gaurds who don’t belong giving meds know if there wrong or write an I was fucked up for days on the wrong meds Im not the only one and you cant blame the nursing staff or the gaurds the only do as they are told so the inmates need to show alittle more respect to them an go after the ones responsible I have more to Say but I must wait for permission by my lawyer This town an jail is going to pay an Im putting a pettion out to Have Karnes fired so give me till next week No Lawyer will look at my case soo an Lawyer that will help me Im filing a law suit for many reasons I am an AMERICAN VETERAN an I Defended our Connstutional Right which were taken from me while I was there an you cant fight within them walls which I filed a Grevience that was never responded to while I was in there and I will follow threw with it be cause it is my right my email is DWS1163@hotmail.com so please write a short message I will get back the more support I get the better we are an for the Inspections that go on there they are a joke you don’t paint over any kind of mold an your not to Iceskate in your cells

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  5. My son is in Lebanon Correctional Facility now. He is in for arrears even tho he was paying. His children are emancipated adults. There is just so much wrong going on in there. I don’t even know where to start. Guards not nurses are passing out meds. There are no rules. It all depends on who you know.as to what you get. I went to take clothes to him and they would not let me bring him in any pants, yet he was telling me it is a regular fashion show in there with guys wearing different clothes and shoes every day. Guards bringing food in to some people.These guys have thin little mattresses. First, my son should not even be in that hole. The Judge was awful and read a 3 page letter from the mother of his children who has lots and lots of issues one of them being telling the truth.. The only true thing she wrote was her name. He sentenced him to 5 months and then and additional 5 months or $5k, because she wants a big payday. There is no big pay day..I think these Judges should spend a week there.The other commenters were right it is all about money all of them. Don’t even get me started on the Public Defender’s office …what a total waste of breath. The entire system is an nightmare and half of these guys should not be there. A guy went in for owing $1 another for $160. They picked my son up years ago for 2 wks late support and they lost had the check.

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  6. I was in LCCF for my first time in June 2014. The pad thing is incorrect, they do actually provide those. However, I am NOT defending that place. I agree they need an inspection. I was kept in quarantine for 18 days, 14 days of which I was cleared. The place is freezing, and stinks of mold and mildew. Some of the staff are respectful. I witnessed and overheard a woman staff telling a female inmate “I will kick you in the fucking throat”… not because the inmate was unruly, but because she was having trouble giving a urine test… on her first day. It wasn’t even a case where she was suspected of using in the jail. If you don’t have money, or “friends” in the jail it could be over a week until you even have underwear or socks… let alone a jacket… those are gold any time of year in there. Something needs done. Tim G, I know you work there, but you know yourself things need a huge change in there. Medical is a huge one! I seen a girl with an abscess tooth take a week to get meds, and even then was denied anbesol …

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  7. Medical neglect is the real story. My story pales in comparison to this needless loss of a life that had hardly even begun. The real criminals are the officials and employees there that stand idly by in silence…or worse, treat the inmates they’re sworn to “correct” like they’re disposable. Some are very fair and relatively kind, mind you…just not many. Just because we lock people in cages doesn’t mean have to treat them like animals.

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  8. My daughter died in Lebanon County Correctional Facility only 4 days after she got there. She had no criminal record before this. With all do respect Jim, my daughter would have been better off homeless. They seem to last a lot longer homeless than when they enter that prison. Victoria was only 18 years old. The Lebanon County Jail apparently has a protocol to go thru one of which is to call me (mom) when Tori got to jail…they did not! I even asked about her condition when I went into the jail to but money on her account and my response was “she’s” fine! 24 hours later she dies. Only call I got was from the Warden, a voicemail telling me she is in critical condition. The medical side of this place seems to be more damaging than life saving and the correctional officers seem to add to it by throwing them around, humiliating them, bulling them, and denying them their human rights. So please Jim….tell me how she is better off in jail than homeless as I sit here with her ashes????????????????????????????????????????

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  9. These things are all very true and are true to some degree in most of our county jails. I so not think that jail should be a resort, but medical attention, proper hygiene, healthy food, and adequate living conditions are required. This is a county jail. People are here for such minor offenses, from school truancy fines, unpaid traffic tickets, driving under suspension. The large majority of the population here is not drug dealers or criminals but in reality this is one of the many county jails that specialize in jailing people for being poor. They jail you for feeding your children or buying your seizure meds instead of paying your petty fines. I got hauled in to this hell hole in the early 2000, with a newborn at home for an unpaid warrant that was actually paid under my married name. They had me on the books under both names but not together so when i got pulled over my name showed I had a warrant. It took me 4 days to get out. The fine I had to pay? I lost a videotape belonging to Lefty’s video!! That was my big crime, nothing!!!

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  10. I got locked up on the 21st for something stupid as soon as I got locked up I was telling everyone from the time I got locked up I have epilepsy and when I got to the prison I told everyone I have epilepsy and the doctors and nurses asked me what medication I’m on and I told them the medication and the mg of the pills plus they need to be 12 hours apart and I mentioned I could not be on off brand medications and in my medical records it states I have to have name brand name only and the nurse asked me why and I told her I was on off brand medication before and they put me into seizures and if I’m correct at 1 point the off brand depakote was pulled from the shelves so she started laughing and said ha ha your not getting name brand here so I was nice and calm and said what if I can have someone bring me my medication and she said that is the only way u can get your name brand medication and she looked at me and said till then ur getting off brand meds and how do u know you will have a seizure? and I said it happened 5 other times that is why in my medical records it states name brand only and she said to bad your getting off brand medicine. so then I was like I’m just letting u know to keep a eye out then they took me to outmate gave me the medicine and I was sitting there talking to people and they asked if I had health problems and told them I have epilepsy so they said to sleep on the bottom bunk, and the inmates kept a eye on me. about 2 hours give or take I started to get dizzy and light headed and the inmate asked if I was ok and I told him I was getting light headed and dizzy he asked if it was start of a seizure I told him it might be so he asked if I could stand up so I tryed to stand up and I blacked out 2 times so the guy went and told the nurse and the nurse said I was lying and for me to come to her so it took me 15 minutes to get to her and she was like ur a damn lier u didn’t have a seizure because u knew u was going to have a seizure before u took the meds and I was like because it happened 5 other times when I took the medication I had them. so then they took me from outmate to some were else or to block one were I ended up last so while there I don’t remember how many days past by but I’m just thinking going from name brand to off brand so fast how many seizures am I going to have? so the took me off my meds for 1 day then put me back on them and I was fine for 2 days and then they started to give me meds at 5am then 11pm I was like I usually take them around 10am and 10pm not 4am so then I didn’t know till feb 1 that I got a letter from my ex-girlfriend saying she dropped my medication off 2 days prier to the letter so I’m thinking why didn’t I get my regular medication and I’m still getting the off brand? later that day I started to shake and my head started spinning and I mentioned to the C.O I need a nurse or doctor because I feel like I’m about to go into a seizure and the C.O was like who cares and started laughing then I started to go into a seizure and the girl C.O said I think he is having a seizure and the guy C.O said who cares let him have one so then she came over to me and flashed a flash light in my eyes and she said my eyes were dilated and she seriously thinks she needs to call for a doctor and then the guy said let him die from a seizure, so she called the doctor and the doctor came up and felt my leg and he said I I’m very cold and shaking very bad he asked how long has he been like this and the girl C.O said about a hour or so and the doctor said he never seen a seizure so he doesn’t know what it looks like then they put something under my nose that had a horrible spell which I smelt but I didn’t react to it so I didn’t hear anything after that and then I heard what should we do the doctor said to call someone I don’t know who and to bring a towel and a bag then I heard this is what we will do we will put the towel on the floor dump what was on the bag on my shoes so it looks like he puked on my shoes and we will put needle marks in his arm so it looks like he was doing drugs and shooting up then the guy said who cares let him die from a seizure he is probably faking it.. then I finally came to and the girl C.O said was that a seizure and I was a bit confused but I asked how long was it she said about 2 hours then u just past out and just woke up 16 hours later I was telling her that when I have a full blown seizure that I get very tired after and all I’ll do is sleep yes I was fine for a few days except my head spinning and it looked like stuff was moving when it wasn’t. the inmates asked if I was ok I told them I have epilepsy and the room is spinning and it feels like stuff is moving when it is not I never felt like that before so they told the C.O on the block that something was wrong and the C.O said I’m lying and there is nothing wrong so I laid down and I was fine the inmates asked me every day if I’m ok and I was good then it got worse I started to hear things from guns, machine guns, rocket launchers, bombs, m16’s like I was in the middle of a war and people screaming and bodies dropping cars crashing and I didn’t know if it was real or just in my head I heard the inmates ask if I was ok I could hear them but couldn’t respond and it was pretty loud so the next day I got up and I didn’t hear nothing but everyone was alive, the inmates came over to me and mentioned it to me I looked at them like I had no clue what they were talking about then again the next day the same thing happened but I seen people putting stuff in my food so they brought my food I refused to eat it, the 3rd day same thing but this time there was dynamite around the prison it felt so real I was shaking the cell door and everyone was telling me to shut up and who cares, and I heard gun shots on the same block so i went under the metal desk I was saying it is all in my head so I then heard someone say I called the fire company told them there was a fire on the other side of town so we have some time, then I heard boom boom boom then I woke up, the 4th day I went to bed I kept waking up like something was touching me and breathing in my hear and I turned over and nothing was there so I finally fell asleep and I woke up and told the C.O what was going on and he was like who cares u might of had a seizure or u can be lying.. nothing else happened after that but this was between me being in there I was in there for 2ish weeks and when I got out my ex-girlfriend mentioned did u get your medication I was like NO i was on off brand the whole time my friend brought my meds in and they put them in zip lock bag with my name and date on it and the date was 1/31/2015 and they never gave them to me so they had my original medication for 5 days prior of me being released and kept on giving me the off brand. Im on 750mg depakote, 200mg lamictal and 1500mg keppra while I was in jail they were giving me everything the same except they were off brand and the keppra they were giving me was 2000mg which is 500mg more….

    when I got home I googled the side effects of the off brand medication and the side effects of the medications are seeing and hearing things that are not there and the one mentioned about live damage can happen and and kill you with in 3 months. I called and mentioned it to the prison about it and no one seemed to care.. I have facebook and I’m in a few epilepsy groups so everything I mentioned to you I mentioned to them and they said to contact the ada, epilepsy foundation and a lawyer to see if anything can be done

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  11. Current capacity is 460 I believe. Triple digest sounds like a lot but 5 years ago I remember COs talking about being very near capacity and that’s the county’s money making machine inmates are charged between $32-$42 a day for their incarceration, work release and trustys pay the $32 every one else pays $42

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  12. I hardly think that’s the issue with LCCF. If you’ve ever been you know the food is poison! All the food is made by inmates and hygiene isn’t even a consideration! The eggs were green, hot dogs were rock hard, potatoes tasted like soap. A lot of guys lived off the vending machine bc they couldn’t stomach the food they gave us. The kool aid they give you to drink started eating away the concrete underneath the dispenser. I wouldn’t feed that crap they gave us to my dog

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  13. Hay Brian I can only afford generic drugs.. And Daniel I wonder how many homeless people would love to get 3 meals a day.. You guys kill this country..

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  14. I’m glad somebody finally had the guts to start something like this! That place is a joke! I was in for about 2 months about 5 years ago. I went in in july and got out September and I was freezing then! I can’t imagine how it is in the winter. I was given a sheet you could see through for my mattress and a paper thin army surplus wool blanket. They came around and took you pillow and forced you to use the one built into the mattress. Stand up head count at 3am then leave the lights on till breakfast came around hours later. There was even a guard so fucked up He couldn’t make it through head count. Guy could hardly stand up straight. I wasn’t quarantined either, went straight to work release. They even tried to keep me longer. There was some sort of “computer glitch” where I was still in the system as waiting to go to court when in reality I already had a week or so prior and was given time served. My family had to call to the point of harassment just to have it rectified. If I didn’t have help on the outside who knows how long it would’ve taken me to get out on “time served”. the entire probation office is just as bad as the correctional facility. Its a money making business.

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  15. u only get a sheet nothing else and it took me 4 days to get a jacket nothing else and in the gym against the kitchen wall it is a cheap ass work job to fix the hole and also if u r sick or say there is something wrong u do not come out of your cell only for 1 hour a day cause the corantine you (spelling) and when ur name brand meds gets dropped off and they still give u off brand meds guess they don’t give a damn about that either

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  16. I never even mentioned the day we had Hamburger Mac for dinner and the kitchen workers told us they had found bugs in the tomato sauce. I’m also now told that women who can’t afford pads are sometimes forced to use just one pad throughout their entire period. More and more people are sharing the horrors of their experiences there.

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