Wednesday, December 17, 2008

County prisoners to get better prices

At their Dec. 17 meeting, the County Commissioners "piggy backed" a contract already existing between the County of Lehigh with Oasis Management Systems for inmate commissary services at the Lancaster County prison for a three year period.

The county will receive 37% of revenue from the sale of sundries. In turn, all of the money is contributed to an inmate fund for the purchase of items to benefit the prison population.

According to Commissioner Scott Martin "piggy backing" enables the county to utilize terms and conditions in contracts from other counties, providing "economies of scale" and reducing administrative costs by about a thousand dollars per contract. It is permitted by state statute and county code.

In response to a question from the audience, Martin assured that the new vendor’s prices are comparable with those at Walgreen's and other local merchants. As an aside, an unidentified member of the audience challenged the accuracy of the statement. NewsLanc is requesting a copy of the price list and, after making a comparison with local prices, will report back.