BROOKVILLE — It has been almost seven months since the death of Jefferson County Jail inmate David Aikens and there are still no answers in the case.
Tuesday Jefferson County Commissioner Jack Matson said he had been in contact with the investigating officer with the Pennsylvania State Police and was able to obtain no new information in the case.
Matson said the PSP indicated that the police had completed their investigation but were waiting on the coroner’s report from Allegheny County.
Aikens was a Jefferson County Jail inmate, who was out on work release and died while he was walking back to the jail from a Pine Creek Township business.
A Go Fund Me page was established by Aiken’s sister, Jacqueline Robinson of Brooklyn, N. Y. to return her brother’s body for burial.
On the page she states she said Aikens was “walking back home from a work release program provided to him by the jail to save up money for his home plan due to the fact that his probation officer felt like the many home plans set up for him by his family and friends was not good enough so he was not released on his original release date May 15, 2017. He was walking to the jail from work unsupervised. After who knows how long the jail noticed David did not return. They went to look for him and found him dead on the side of the road.”
Robinson said, “We are getting no information from anyone there is an investigation going on not they are keeping us out the loop it hurts us to know he went alone especially when he could have been released two months ago.”
On Feb. 15, 2017, Aikens, was sentenced in the Court of Common Pleas in Brookville, to Possession of Child Pornography. He was to pay the costs of prosecution, a fine, and to serve a sentence in the Jefferson County Jail of from 9 months to 2 years, less 1 day, followed by 3 years plus 1 day of probation.
The Pennsylvania work release and community work program began in 1968, with just a few inmates. The alternative sentencing program allows people who have been convicted of mostly nonviolent crimes to stay employed, seek work, and continue to have connection with their families while serving their sentence. It allows for these particular individuals to transition much more smoothly back to family and community after having served jail time.
Work release is available for some convicted individuals who qualify. Inmates must apply for it through the Work Release Program and be interviewed by the WRP Review Committee.
The WRP provides just minimum security jail time that also allows the person the chance to hold down a job and help support his or her family while in jail. It also offers inmates a way to pay off any fines that they owe while they are in jail, and not have to worry about paying off debt once they are released.