Dauphin County Prison Board updates serious illness, death notification policy

SWATARA TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. - The Dauphin County Board of Prison Inspectors unanimously votes to update its current life threatening illness and death notification policy.

"If you find a flaw in your system or something that should be looked at," said Brian Clark, Dauphin County Prison Director of Corrections. "It's your duty and responsibility to strengthen that and to make it what it should be."

The change in policy comes after the family of former inmate Ty'Rique Riley were not immediately notified he became unconscious after a struggle with prison guards and later died.

Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo says, when an inmate is booked, they are asked to provide emergency contact information. Riley did not.

"This was an unusual circumstance where we didn't have direct contact with the family in the past and so we wanted to develop policies to address this situation," said Chardo. "Change is always appropriate when we identify an issue. The issue was identified and we're making corrective measures."

The new policy will make sure if an inmate does not provide emergency contact information, it will not prevent his or her family from being immediately notified of a life-threatening illness or death.

"County detectives will immediately track down the family members or immediately start the process of tracking down family members," said Chardo.

With approval at Wednesday's meeting, the policy went into effect immediately.

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