HARRISBURG, Pa. (Jan. 26, 2017) – PSCOA President Jason Bloom today issued the following statement:
“This process was not transparent. At all. Agreeing to attend a legislative hearing and do a few editorial board meetings AFTER you decide to close a prison isn’t being transparent. It’s absurd for this administration to claim otherwise.
“Communities were given only weeks to fight each other to stay open. Now, inmates will be stacked like cordwood into a system that is bursting at 104.7 percent capacity, despite aggressive efforts to reduce the prison population.
“This also comes at a time when we have a record number of parolees (2,100) who have absconded and more are committing crimes. These people should be found and sent back to prison, but we can’t do that if we continue to close prisons. That means decisions are being made that aren’t in the best interest of public safety.
“The PSCOA calls on the Pennsylvania General Assembly to approve legislation that will create a formal, proactive and transparent process for any future attempts to close prisons. Such a process exists in other states. As we’ve seen in Pennsylvania, decisions that affect thousands of working families are being made behind closed doors — with little regard for public safety. If this legislation isn’t done, we can expect this secretive process to continue to hurt families and communities in legislative districts across Pennsylvania.”
About the PSCOA
PSCOA proudly represents more than 9,500 men and women who patrol cellblocks and serve in our 26 state correctional institutions and forensic units. These corrections professionals stand between those who are incarcerated – including the most violent and dangerous criminals – and our communities.