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United Way of Lancaster County


County posts full needs assessment for correctional facility

The Lancaster County Prison and the site, inset, where its replacement is to be built. (Source: OUL | Lancaster County)

The needs assessment for Lancaster County’s planned correctional facility is now available online.

It can be found under the “Project Delivery” heading on the correctional facility project website,, along with an associated presentation, a link to the video of last week’s Prison Board meeting at which the presentation was delivered, and the project committee’s “guiding principles.”

Related: Prison Board hears projections for new site’s capacity needs

The posting follows the commissioners’ acceptance of the needs assessment at their work session on Tuesday. Solicitor Jackie Pfursich advised them that they did not need to do so via a formal vote, so instead Commissioner Ray D’Agostino verbally acknowledged receipt following a short recap from Warden Cheryl Steberger.

The correctional facility project will replace the existing County Prison, which county officials and local criminal justice reform advocates agree is outdated and in poor condition.

Advocates are pushing the county to think small, contending that bail reform and innovations in criminal justice practices can keep more people out of prison. At last week’s Prison Board meeting, Commissioner Josh Parsons said it would be a mistake to build either too small or too big, and that officials will take the time necessary to make the best decision they can with the available data.

Steberger and the commissioners have consistently said they will incorporate public input into the correctional facility’s planning process. An initial listening session took place in September; the next is set for 6:30 Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the County Government Center, 150 N. Queen St., with a fallback date of Feb. 2 in case of inclement weather.