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Escape won't add to woman's jail time

November 29, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG - A Franklin County, Pa., woman charged with escape after she walked away from the prison work release program this summer will not serve additional jail time.

Kimberly Lee Cleope, 30, reported to her job at the Days Inn in Chambersburg on Aug. 3, but after a noon break she failed to return to work or to the Franklin County Prison, according to court records.

In court Wednesday, Cleope blamed her troubles on not regularly taking her medication for a psychiatric disorder.

"I know now I have to take my psych meds. I have a disease," she said.

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Carol Van Horn questioned whether treatment programs at the prison, where Cleope had been serving time on a charge of simple assault, were effective.

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"The problem is you have not adapted to the jail setting. The programs here are not helping you," she said.

Van Horn said Cleope had two options - setting up a parole plan with treatment required or getting into the state corrections system, which has additional mental health programs.

Van Horn also said most inmates who escape from the prison serve additional jail time, but said she would give Cleope a final chance.

"But if you further mess up, you will get yourself in the state system," she said.

She ordered Cleope paroled on the simple assault charge as soon as she presents an acceptable plan to the Probation Department outlining where she will live and what her mental health treatment will be.

She also sentenced her to serve from one to 23 months in the county jail on the escape charge to will run concurrently with the sentence for the simple assault charge. Van Horn said Cleope would be paroled on the escape charge, to which she pleaded guilty, as soon as she submits an appropriate "home plan."

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