HAWLEY — Sen. Lisa Baker, R-20th, issued the following statement on the decision to keep state correctional facilities in Waymart and Retreat open:
“This is a terrific example of communities, officials and citizens alike, rallying to safeguard their interests and stopping a shortsighted decision whose negative consequences would have rippled across the region.
Local officials deserve credit for the thorough job of assembling compelling documentation of the benefits derived from the institutions at Waymart and Retreat. In addition, detailing the costs and complications that would arise from a move to close either of these facilities surely contributed to the determination they will remain open. This news comes as welcome relief to area communities and residents.
Over the last several weeks, it has become clear that we need to put a process in place that ensures community involvement earlier in state decision-making. I have signed onto a Senate bill that will put a community public hearing requirement into state law. This is probably just the starting point for debate, but it is a good start.
It is impossible for anyone to determine the length of this reprieve. Given the continuing fiscal distress confronting state government, and the prospect for action on additional legislation altering sentencing practices, we cannot count on this being the last round of prison closures. So we need to continue building the case and undertaking the advocacy that will ensure we are prepared to meet head-on any future attempts at closure.”
Andrew M. Seder
District Communications/Constituent Services for Pike and Wayne Counties
Office of Senator Lisa Baker
2512 Route 6
Hawley, PA 18428