PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The warden of the Allegheny County Jail answered questions after inmates sent out a letter about what they said were freezing conditions inside the facility.
During Thursday's Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board meeting, jail officials gave updates on the safety and justice plan, but there were questions about other types of reform, including reducing the ACJ's population.
Board member Bethany Hallam also pressed Warden Orlando Harper about the heat reportedly being off for three days inside the jail. She said the problem was brought to her attention on Facebook.
"I'm mad about that," Hallam said. "This entire board has expressed serious frustration about finding out about huge issues in the jail from Facebook, from the news. Hell, I got a tweet from the ACJ comms account before I got an email from you."
Hallam: "Why did you not just move them."
Harper: "Temperatures were taken on the pod, and we made the determination that the inmates did not need to be moved. So, therefore, they were given additional blankets. The temperature was appropriate enough to keep them on the pod."
During the meeting, Harper could not say what the temperature was inside the jail.
Jail officials said there was an issue with the HVAC system that impacted about 60 people in one pod. Jail officials said the temperature did not reach unsafe levels.
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