Schell Selected As Franklin County’s New Warden


CHAMBERSBURG – The Franklin County Commissioners have announced that Christopher A. Schell has been selected as the new warden of the Franklin County Jail.

Schell replaces Bill Bechtold, who retired in December after serving as warden since April 2015.

A native of Red Lion, York County, Schell has more than 30 years of experience in corrections. He comes to Franklin County after five years serving as warden of the Centre County Correctional Facility in Bellefonte. Prior to Centre County, Schell spent 25 years at the York County Prison where he began his career as a corrections officer before rising to the rank of captain a few years later.

Schell is involved with a number of regional and statewide groups, including the Pennsylvania County Correction Association’s Forensic Mental Health Committee and the Pennsylvania Prison Warden Association. He holds a number of certifications, including Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) investigator instructor and Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT).

“We are excited to hire Christopher Schell as our new warden,” said Franklin County Commissioner John Flannery, chair of the county’s Prison Board. “Through a process of multiple interviews, Chris was selected over a strong list of qualified applicants. Chris has an impressive background with over 30 years of experience in Pennsylvania correctional facilities. His resume includes extensive involvement in many statewide committees, groups and agencies, which made him the ideal candidate to help maintain the Franklin County Jail as one of the best correctional facilities in Pennsylvania.

“As chairman of the Franklin County Prison Board, I look forward to working with Chris and know that he will be a great addition to the current passionate and committed staff we have at the jail,” Flannery said.

In his new position, Schell will supervise overall operations and administration of the Franklin County Jail, a 500-bed facility with a staff of approximately 150. As a key stakeholder in the criminal justice continuum, he will also work in close collaboration with the county’s probation departments, law enforcement agencies, county administration, courts and other entities with the ultimate goal of ensuring public safety.

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