Sen. Lisa Baker, R-20th, issued the following comments on Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement that he was considering closing some state correctional facilities in Pennsylvania:
“State spending on prisons is not a popular item among taxpayers, but the fact is public safety will always be a necessity and a priority. Despite legitimate concerns about the size of the prison population, we are constantly reminded there are too many violent crimes committed by individuals who should not be out on the streets.
Less than a year ago, Wolf administration officials asserted during budget hearings there were no plans to close state prisons. Now, without any apparent public process or community consultation, there is suddenly a plan to close multiple facilities.
This is a dramatic and unexpected shift in public safety policy, one that raises questions about capacity and staffing within the system, and one that will clearly be economically disruptive to the affected communities.
The governor unfortunately chose to approach this matter in a secretive way that disrespects the precepts of open government and public trust. The administration needs to hold public hearings and seek community input before making any final decisions.”
Andrew M. Seder
District Communications/Constituent Services for Pike and Wayne Counties
Office of Senator Lisa Baker
2512 Route 6
Hawley, PA 18428