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File photo of Lancaster County Prison from Jan. 16, 2019.

Lancaster County officials say that three recent deaths at the Lancaster County Prison are still under investigation.

During a Prison Stat meeting Tuesday, where metrics from the county prison are discussed, Warden Cheryl Steberger said that the deaths of Luis Ortiz-Velazquez on June 28, Justin Alcholz on July 18 and William Kauffman on July 28 are still under investigation and the prison is awaiting more information from the Lancaster County Coroner.

Steberger said Alcholz’s death is suspected to be a suicide, but the other two deaths are not thought to be suicides at this time.

Commissioner Josh Parsons said the county could not go into more specifics about the deaths as they are still under investigation.

Steberger said when there is a suicide at the prison, it is reviewed by the county’s suicide prevention task force.

Kent Kroehler, a member of the local prison reform group Have a Heart for Persons in the Criminal Justice System, asked Parsons if there was any indication that the deaths of Velazquez or Kauffman were heat-related, referencing the fact that the prison does not have air conditioning.

Parsons again said they are awaiting the Coroner’s reports but that he did not believe they were heat-related.


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