Statement from Governor Tom Wolf regarding Corrections’ Facility Closure Announcement

January 26, 2017

Governor Tom Wolf released the following statement on his administration’s announcement that the Department of Corrections will begin the process to close SCI Pittsburgh by June 30, 2017:

“The growing size and cost of our prisons system has gone unaddressed for too long – rising to more than $2 billion and threatening funding for programs that the people of Pennsylvania want: education, senior care and jobs and training programs.

“I commend Secretary Wetzel and the Department of Corrections for their transparent, inclusive and comprehensive process to determine how to reduce its footprint while maintaining safety for the public, its employees and those it seeks to rehabilitate.

“Prison population is declining and that is a good thing because it means criminal justice reforms are working. We must continue to pursue smart reforms that reduces the burden on taxpayers and protect our investments in education and drug treatment to keep people out of prison where we will spend $40,000 each to house, feed and care them.

“I want to thank all Pennsylvanians who provided input during our deliberation. This decision will allow us to save taxpayers approximately $80 million while minimizing the impact on staff and local communities. My administration will work diligently with Senator Fontana, Representative Wheatley and local leaders in Allegheny County to implement a plan to find a new use for the SCI Pittsburgh location.”

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