HARRISBURG — The Senate Majority Policy Committee, Democratic Policy Committee and Judiciary Committee will hold a joint public hearing on Jan. 23 at 9:30 a.m. in Hearing Room 1 of the North Office Building in Harrisburg to review the Wolf administration’s decision to potentially close two state prisons.
Sen. Lisa Baker, R-20th, has created a public comment page — www.senatorbaker.com/proposed-prison-closings — for community members, prison employees, businesses, elected officials and others impacted by such closings to express concerns, provide information and to add their voice to the conversation.
“To give area residents easier access to the process, I have placed a comment page on our website so individuals and groups can submit material and perspective for the record,” Baker said. “Local officials and residents can be assured we are not leaving the fate of the region’s prisons up to the whims of the Wolf Administration.”
On January 6, the Department of Corrections announced that it would close two state prisons in June. Five locations are currently under consideration, including SCI Waymart, SCI Retreat and SCI Frackville in northeastern Pennsylvania, and SCI Mercer and SCI Pittsburgh in the west.
The Wolf Administration is scheduled to make its final decision as to which two prisons will close on January 26.
The committees’ goal is to look at various aspects of the proposed closings including cost to taxpayers, public safety, transparency, prison overpopulation and the impact on local communities.
“Any decision to close state prisons has substantial consequences for public safety and community welfare. It is far more involved than just weighing cost implications,” Baker said. “This bipartisan committee review provides an effective means for us to collect information and receive community input needed for analyzing the administration’s plan.”
Andrew M. Seder
District Communications/Constituent Services for Pike and Wayne Counties
Office of Senator Lisa Baker
2512 Route 6
Hawley, PA 18428