Jail Oversight Board

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The Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board is a statutory body whose responsibilities include the operation and maintenance of Allegheny County Jail and its alternative housing facilities, oversight of the health and safekeeping of its incarcerated residents, and the confirmation of the County Executive’s selection of a warden. The Board’s legal authority is outlined under 61 Pa. C.S. §§ 1721-28.

Members


The Board comprises both elected and non-elected members, including:

  1. The County Chief Executive
  2. Two judges of the Court of Common Pleas, one of whom is the President Judge or their designee who is also a judge, and one judge appointed by the President Judge
  3. The County Sheriff
  4. The County Controller
  5. The President of County Council, or their designee
  6. Three citizen members (who shall not be employees of Allegheny County or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and appointed by the Chief Executive for a three-year term with consent from County Council)

As of October 2022, the members of the Board include:

  1. Stephen Pilarski, appearing for County Executive Rich Fitzgerald
  2. Judge Elliot Howsie, designee of President Judge Kim Berkeley Clark
  3. Judge Beth Lazzara, appointed by President Judge Clark
  4. Sheriff Kevin Kraus
  5. Controller Corey O’Connor
  6. Councilor Bethany Hallam, designee of County Council President Patrick Catena
  7. Abass Kamara, citizen member
  8. Gayle Moss, citizen member
  9. Terri Klein, citizen member

Meetings


The Board is required to meet at least once per month, which has typically occurred on the first Thursday of every month pending scheduling or external conflicts. Meetings are open to the public and take place in the Gold Room (4th Floor) of the Allegheny County Courthouse (436 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219).

Board meetings are streamed live via YouTube and recordings can also be accessed on the Jail Oversight Board channel here.

Public Comments


Public input is an essential part to each meeting, and members of the public may submit comments online prior to monthly Board meetings via the County Courts website here. Please submit comments no later than 12:00 p.m. noon the day before a Board meeting occurs. In addition, members of the public may sign up for public comment before each meeting by using the sign-up sheet provided outside the Gold Room.

Comments submitted online will be read in their entirety and presented in the order in which they were received. Depending on the number of comments received, some may not be read at the meeting. All comments, including those exceeding 5 minutes, are given to the Board, and included in the meeting minutes made available below.

Community Resources


The Corrections Collective, a community-based coalition formed by the Center for Public Service Psychiatry at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, has prepared the following resource guide listing supports for incarcerated individuals, their families, and communities challenged by the impacts of arrest and incarceration. This organization identifies problems and strategies for change by involving affected individuals, families, and communities and collaborating with community organizations, corrections leadership, and elected officials. It also provides education, consultation, and advocates for system change that serve the interests of a just society. For questions regarding this guide, the information included inside, or Corrections Collective, please contact Allison Haley-Lewis at ahaley.lewis@gmail.com.

Records and Information

The Controller’s Office endorses public access to records and documents regarding the Board and Allegheny County Jail. To access information such as audits, meeting minutes, reports and studies, and all other jail-related records, please see below.

Please note: Monthly meeting minutes are posted once they are voted on and approved by the Board (e.g., September’s meeting minutes will be posted after the Board approves them during the October meeting).

In addition, the warden’s monthly reports containing data and information from the month prior are presented at the proceeding board meeting (e.g., the warden’s report presented during September’s meeting reflects data from August).

Warden's reports

Title Action
December 2022 Warden’s Report VIEW DOCUMENT
November 2022 Warden’s Report VIEW DOCUMENT
October 2022 Warden’s Report VIEW DOCUMENT

Meeting minutes

Title Action
November 2022 Jail Oversight Board Minutes VIEW DOCUMENT
October 2022 Jail Oversight Board Minutes VIEW DOCUMENT
September 2022 Jail Oversight Board Minutes VIEW DOCUMENT

Meeting Agendas

Title Action
January 2023 Agenda VIEW DOCUMENT
December 2022 Agenda VIEW DOCUMENT
November 2022 Agenda VIEW DOCUMENT

Past Public Comments

Title Action
April 2021 Public Comments VIEW DOCUMENT

Other Jail Oversight Board Documents

Title Action
Inspection by Controller O’Connor and Terri Klein October November 2022 VIEW DOCUMENT
Inspection by Judge Elliot Howsie September 2022 VIEW DOCUMENT
Inspection by Steve Pilarski September 2022 VIEW DOCUMENT
Jail Oversight Board Liaison Job Description VIEW DOCUMENT