(HARRISBURG) – – Senator John R. Gordner (R-27) today pledged support to Northumberland County in dealing with issues surrounding yesterday’s prison fire.  Senator Gordner, along with Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver(R-108) participated in a conference call this morning with officials of Northumberland County and the State Department of Corrections to discuss an action plan.

In the short-term, the Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel has agreed to:

  • House male county inmates at no cost for 28 days at the State Correctional Institution at Coal Township.  The Secretary has made segregated housing available at the institution by moving state inmates to another facility.
  • House female county inmates at no cost for 28 days at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy.  The county inmates are being kept separate from state inmates.
  • Establish a dedicated web-page for Northumberland County on the Department’s website to facilitate information distribution.  The site is operating at
  • Begin discussions relating to the possible utilization of Northumberland County corrections staff.
  • Provide video-conferencing for the county court system.
  • Begin discussions on a long-term housing plan at both state facilities at reasonable per-diem rates.

“Secretary Wetzel has been nominated by Governor-elect Tom Wolf to continue as Corrections Secretary, and I am extremely confident in his ability to work with the county in this matter,” said Senator Gordner.  “He has pledged his unqualified support for Northumberland County and will be an excellent resource as the county moves forward.”

The Secretary will be meeting with county officials next week to begin discussions on a long-term plan to house county inmates and begin discussions on the future of corrections in Northumberland County.

CONTACT: Todd B. Roup (717) 787-8928