It’s disappointing the Wolf administration has already made a decision to close two state prisons without any public input whatsoever and is now strangely leaving five communities twisting in the wind for several weeks. Closing these prisons will uproot families and damage the local economies in these communities.
This administration continues to have extremely optimistic projections about the state prison population. The fact remains our system remains over capacity at 103.8 percent, according to the Department of Corrections’ population figures. That number would be even higher (104.9) if the state wasn’t paying counties to house hundreds of additional inmates. It’s mystifying why this administration would be closing prisons if we can’t even house the inmates we currently have.
With fewer prisons, a smaller system could literally burst at the seams, creating a public safety risk. The Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association is calling on the Pennsylvania General Assembly to immediately hold hearings and seek ways to keep these prisons open. The public can review DOC population figures at www.cor.pa.gov.
Jason Bloom, Harrisburg
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The writer is president of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association.