Toohil: MinSec’s Promises for Change are Inadequate
(Response to April 30, 2010 Standard Speaker article)
Hazleton, PA – Today, April 30, 2010, it is being reported that “changes are coming to MinSec.” These changes, such as phasing out the pre-release program, improving management of the facility, and imposing stricter standards for permitting residents to leave on pass, were previously reported. New promises for change seem to have bought the facility more time. However, it is questionable as to what has really changed. Tarah Toohil, candidate for State Representative in the 116th Legislative District, looked to the facts. The reality is that during this month, the list of incidents continued to grow.
April 3, 2010 Police apprehend Edward E. Hardee, 48, one day after he failed to return to MinSec by his 4 p.m. curfew. MinSec employees finally reported him missing at 12:48 a.m. Nearly nine hours after he had absconded.
April 5, 2010 Jeffrey P. Wright, 30, another MinSec resident, is reported to have admitted to robbing M&T Bank, 223 W. Broad Street. Wright is speculated to have absconded on either April 5th or April 6th.
April 8, 2010 A MinSec resident accessed pornography on a City Hall computer causing the computer to contract a virus which had to be removed by a computer technician.
April 12, 2010 Police report that Jeffrey P. Wright and an accomplice attempted to rob three different banks within walking distance of MinSec: First National Community Bank, PNC Bank, and M&T Bank.
Toohil stated, "If MinSec has made changes as they claim, these changes are obviously insufficient. The reality is that MinSec’s residents are a danger to our city. How many crimes must be committed in order for the state to realize that MinSec is not doing its job?" MinSec has hired a spokesperson to improve community relations. State funding should not be used to hire a spokesperson for MinSec. Toohil argued that the state funding should be used to protect the community from MinSec’s residents. .
Tarah Toohil said, "It is obvious that MinSec’s residents pose a real threat to our public safety. All of these fancy answers and promises for change are not enough to overlook the harm that MinSec has brought to our community and is still bringing. MinSec’s state funding must be halted. In the interim, this minimum security prison should be put on lockdown until its administrators figure out how to control the problems that are continually arising."