PA Department of Corrections Secretary Announces Closure of Two State Prisons

HARRISBURG, Pa. (EYT) – Yesterday, Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel announced that the DOC will close two state prisons in 2017.

There are five prisons under consideration for closing including:

– SCI Frackville (Schuylkill County)
– SCI Pittsburgh (Allegheny County)
– SCI Mercer (Mercer County)
– SCI Retreat (Luzerne County)
– SCI Waymart (Wayne County).

The target date for closure of both facilities is June 30, 2017.

“We have implemented a variety of cost savings initiatives over the past several years, yet we are again in the position where the Department of Corrections must make significant reductions because of the dire budget forecast,” said Wetzel. “The most significant reduction we can make as an agency is a prison closure.”

This will impact more than 800 staff members and several thousand inmates.

Every affected employee will be offered a position within the department. The DOC’s Human Resources staff will provide informational meetings to assist employees who are impacted by these closures.

Inmates will be transferred to other facilities, based on treatment, programming, and security needs.

In response to the DOC’s decision, Governor Tom Wolf stated, “DOC believes we are able to close prisons without security risk because of the historic reduction in the inmate population and crime is down.”

“By investing in the things that make Pennsylvania a better place – like reducing recidivism and improving our schools – we can ensure the long-term prosperity and safety of our commonwealth.”

The DOC will announce on January 26, 2017, which two facilities will be closed.

For additional information, please visit the Prison Closures page on the DOC’s website.

View DOC Secretary John Wetzel’s Full Statement here.

View Governor Wolf’s Full Statement here.

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