Broad Coalition Speaks Out Against Jail Expansion Bill

Press Contact: 

Decarcerate PA, 267.217.3372

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For Immediate Release
Attn: News Desk

Message to Council: “Decrease jail population and use funding for schools, not new jails”

WHAT: On Thursday, June 18, City Council will again consider Bill #150406 for possible passage. If passed, the Bill would authorize $7.2 million for land to build a new jail. A grassroots coalition will gather outside of Council chambers and hold a press conference before the City Council meeting. Speakers will call on City Council to fully fund public schools instead of expanding the prison system and take immediate steps to decrease the number of people held in the Philadelphia Prison System so that the House of Correction can be closed without building an expensive new jail.

WHEN: 9:30AM on Thursday, June 18

WHERE: 4th floor, outside Room 400, City Hall

WHO: Speakers will include formerly incarcerated and convicted people, family members of people currently incarcerated, high school students, and community members.

  • Reginald Abdullah Carter, Decarcerate PA, the Philadelphia Community of Leaders & the Philadelphia Black Political Summit Coalition
  • Ezenwa Ilabor, Philadelphia Student Union
  • Karen Lee, Decarcerate PA & Human Rights Coalition
  • Cara Tratner, Decarcerate PA
  • Faye Anderson, Citizen watchdog and founder of PHLWatchdog
  • Wayne Jacobs, X-Offenders for Community Empowerment


WHY: There are close to 8,000 people held in Philadelphia’s jails, and nearly 80% are pre-trial - meaning they are being held only because they cannot afford to post bail. Instead of building a new jail, this coalition believes City Council should reform Philadelphia's broken bail process, challenge rampant overcharging in the District Attorney's office, address the excruciatingly slow pace of a court system that allows people to sit for years awaiting trial, end the police practices of racial profiling, brutality, and stop and frisk that disproportionately funnel poor people and people of color into the city's jails, and invest in alternatives to incarceration. The coalition will make the case that City Council should instead invest Philadelphia’s resources in fully funded schools, affordable housing, high quality healthcare, comprehensive mental health and drug and alcohol services, jobs and job training, and effective reentry support.

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Decarcerate PA is a grassroots campaign working to end mass incarceration in Pennsylvania.  We demand that PA stop building prisons, reduce the prison population, and

reinvest money in our communities