Allegheny County Jail Board Orders Fewer, Cheaper TVs For Inmates

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A month ago, the Allegheny County Jail Board raised a public outcry by approving the purchase of 40 Sony Bravia TV sets for inmates over the objection of County Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty.

“I think that’s just a little excessive,” he said. “When people are out there struggling in this economy, we’re spending money on the top of the line, beautiful TVs for people that are in jail.”

Today behind closed doors, the jail board reversed itself — ordering fewer TVs and cheaper ones.

The board approved the purchase of 10 Dynex flat screens at $249 each — $150 less than the Sony model.

Flaherty called it a victory.

“Taxpayers save a lot of money,” he said.

But not everyone was pleased.

“It’s quite irritating,” Marion Damick, of the ACLU, said.

She says the funds come from money inmates spend at the commissary and that inmates should be able to purchase quality sets.

“Isn’t it better to get something for $100 or $150 more that’s going to last you 10 years? Yes,” Damick said. “That’s economy for the county if the county wanted to save money. They’re not interested in the moment in that. They’re interested in simply taking over the inmate commissary fund.”

Some would argue that the decision is largely symbolic, but others say it makes the point that inmates should not have what the general taxpaying public cannot afford.


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  • rick

    You can get any drug off just about any guard down there!!!

  • lockdown24/7

    Let me clear the air for you.Inmates buy commissary with money they had in their pocket when arrested or with money their family or friends put on their accounts while in jail.The commissary in priced higher than what you pay in a store,The excess money spent goes into an account and is used to by thing inmate use like computers or other things inmates use at the jail.Its not tax payer money,And it shows the prison board,the county executive and county controller have no ideas what goes on at the jail.

  • mj

    Pack them all up and ship them to Afganastan!! We don’t need them around anyway.
    Then maybe our law abiding service men can all come home to their families!!
    Buy them new TVs, most people can’t even afford to pay for health care, but lets buy TVs for bumbs?

    • B. Joel

      Apparently people’s heads are up their bumbs…

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