There is one sure thing about an election year. So much posturing goes on that one needs to separate out fact from fiction.
In a report filed by Kelly Monitz of the Standard Speaker today Todd Eachus trie to stake claim for changes purportedly coming to the MinSec facility located in downtown Hazleton. The headline is fitting "Change coming to MinSec". Yeah right just like Obama promised change. It happened it wasn't the change the people expected or wanted.
Here's what hockey puck looks like. The state Department of Corrections agreed to make changes at a halfway house in Hazleton's downtown following House Majority Leader Todd Eachus' call for the state to terminate its contract with MinSec Companies earlier this month.
Pre-release cases will no longer be placed at the facility, Eachus said. Those on pre-release are finishing the remainder of their sentences in a halfway house, rather than in prison
Now here is the fact from an April 14, 2010 article written by the same reporter. Barletta, who questioned the facility, met with officials from the state Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole and MinSec last week to discuss problems and crimes in the community.
The DOC did give the city some reassurances regarding other issues at the facility, and promised changes would be made, Barletta said.
Some of those changes include not allowing MinSec to develop the last floor in the historical Altamont Building at 145 W. Broad St., and discontinuing the practice of sending pre-release cases to the facility, the mayor said.
MinSec had accepted men on parole and in pre-release program, in which an inmate finishes out the last of his state sentence in the halfway house, instead of prison. Pre-releases will be phased out, Barletta said.
The company will also be stricter on giving out passes to go into the community, limit personal time and change the curfew from 10 p.m. to 7 p.m., except for those men who work second or third shift, he said.
But these are issues between the Department of Corrections and MinSec, Barletta said. The city's issue remains zoning, he said. It was Barletta, not Eachus, who secured the assurances for the City. How Eachus could try to hoodwink the public when the documentation states otherwise speaks to his real character.
There is another problem that Eachus fails to address over MinSec's operation. MinSec hired a public relations person, Kate Philips, who had served as Gov. Ed Rendell's press secretary, earlier this month. She could not be reached for comment for this story.
According to this article from Monitz in February Pennsylvania taxpayers will be paying for that public relations person. The facility, which is contracted by the state Department of Corrections to provide community corrections services,
Also in that article it chronicles the crime spree that occured over a period of time from MinSec occupants.
MinSec came into the limelight, though, after a series of burglaries in the area were linked to residents who walked off from the facility or returned to crime after their release. In addition, a resident was picked up in Hazleton then murdered in Lackawanna County last summer by gang members from Scranton.
One former resident blamed the facility's lax security and poor rehabilitation services for his relapse into drugs and crime following 16 years in prison.
According to this article written once again by Monitz back in October, 2009 Eachus wrote a letter to the Department of Corrections with his concerns. The big question for Eachus is why he didn't scream and holler while these crimes were being committed since that letter was written.
The latest article on Eachus and MinSec seem to gloriy him. Maybe bias isn't only part of the Wilkes Barre media.