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Corrections Officers Rally to Save Prisons

HARRISBURG -- Dozens of corrections officers from our area traveled to Harrisburg Monday. They held a rally, demanding the governor delay the Department of Corrections Thursday deadline when it plans to announce which two state prisons will close.

State corrections officers at those five prisons have been concerned about their livelihoods since the Department of Corrections announced that it was planning to close two prisons.

In just three days, the department expects to announce its decision, despite union members rallying at the Capitol in protest.

Their signs read, "Save our communities," and, "Save our jobs."

Corrections officers from the five prisons on the list for possible closure gathered inside the Capitol rotunda in Harrisburg. They called on Governor Tom Wolf to force the Department of Corrections to delay Thursday's announcement about which two prisons will close.

"Stop this decision and stop compromising public safety," said Mark Truszkowski, corrections officers union.

Also there supporting corrections officers were state lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.

"If you're making a decision that's involving thousands of individuals, tens of millions of dollars, you need to take your time and do it right," said Sen. David Argall, (R) Schuylkill County.

"All we're asking the Department of Corrections to do, stop the rush to judgment of closing these prisons. Stop the rush to judgment," said Sen. John Yudichak, (D) Luzerne County.

State prisons in Luzerne, Wayne, and Schuylkill Counties are among those that could be closed.

Union members say the DOC did not ask them or the public for input, so some state senators held their own hearing on the prison closures before the rally. Officials with the Department of Corrections say they still plan to make an announcement on Thursday however.

Governor Wolf says the state can safely close two prisons because there are fewer inmates around the state. He also says that prison workers affected by the closures will be offered jobs at other state prisons.

11 comments

  • ABSURD!!

    The Commonwealth is over 5 Billion in Deficit, closing 2 prisons is NOT going to change that nor come even close to paying off the debt. Start taking away some items from the Inmates and make them pay for it. Inmates do not need half of what the Commonwealth pays for. If the GOV actually looked at what the Commonwealth dishes out for Inmates alone in non-necessity items, you can have a few million per Institution x’s 26!!
    Don’t forget the Budget goes like this..
    1.) Welfare (didn’t we just fine 45 people for fraud….now lets keep going and make them pay it back..I believe that was a few hundred thousand dollars right there but unfortunately the state is only going to get back a bit over 300k..GET IT ALL BACK!!
    2.) Corrections…yet again..money spent on non-necessary items for inmates to make life “more civil”..well guess what, if I go to the Post office, I have to have the money to send out an envelope, its not free like in Prison..my cable isn’t partially free either so that’s money saved too if you think of it. Flip the Bill Taxpayers.
    SO YOUR TOP TWO BUDGETS..MAYBE GOV WOLF SHOULD START DIGGING INTO WHO NEEDS IT AND WHO DOESNT. STOP using TAX PAYER dollars for those stupid commericals too…I don’t want to pay for commercials about some epidemic you claim..take that money and use it for some addiction drug..the Prisoners will get it for free..Hey, I wonder how much Wolf is being paid by the pharmaceutical companies for agreeing to push their drug in the prison..whats it called, Vivitol?? I cant even afford that if I needed it.

    Lets see how many employees go out on Workers Comp before the closing of their Institution..I wonder how many claims will be filed come the 26th??

    • JessicaInWilliamsport

      I would suggest many folks start looking to the contractors and vendors that are hired using tax payer dollars for various departments around the state. The lowest bidder usually gets the job, but the cost in taking the lowest bidder can be massive. Also, let’s go back to how the PA prisons were prior to the 90s — they grew their own food, had dairy cattle and beef cattle, grew potatoes and many other things. Now those contracts go to politicians’ cronies and their relatives at taxpayer expense. Time to look at that stuff. Also, all those bennies and perks the state legislators get, let’s check out those welfare cheats.

  • magicmikexxsm

    So just how is this going to save Pa. money by closing these 3 prisons?????

    Gov. Wolf already stated he’s going to shift the money over into the education budget basically a payoff to the NEA for supporting him, that’s all this is about……now if they shut these prisons down, and then lowered our tax rate I’d say job well done, but that’s not what this is about………Wolie is just paying off Election debt to the NEA….

  • RUPERT ROY

    Close the prisons down the corrections officers have no right to do what they do to the inmates and should be in a prison themselves, THE DIRTY CRIMINALS!

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