2009-06-25 / Local & State

Pa. County In Lather Over Cost Of Soap For Inmates

HOLLIDAYBURG, Pa. (AP) - Officials at a county prison in central Pennsylvania are in a lather over the high cost of providing soap to inmates.

That's why Blair County Prison Warden Michael Johnston is changing soap suppliers and other policies.

It now costs the county about $6,000 a year to provide soap for its inmates, largely because inmates waste so many of the 17- cent bars, which are slightly larger than those provided by many motels.

Many inmates throw away the soap after one use. Others carve them into figurines. One inmate formed several bars into a 10-pound ball that jail officials feared could be used as a weapon.

The county had been buying soap made by state prison inmates. But now the warden has found a Texas vendor which can supply two years of soap for about $2,600.

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