Pennsylvanians demand an end to two new prisons in Montgomery County
Skippack Township: Community members from Montgomery County and Philadelphia will rally on Tuesday, July 17, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the intersection of Route 29 and Graterford Road to protest the construction of two new prisons on the grounds of SCI Graterford in Montgomery County. Part of a growing campaign against the controversial prison expansions, the demonstration calls on Governor Corbett cancel the construction while still in its early stages and reinvest the remaining tax dollars in institutions that strengthen communities.
“Pennsylvania does not need another prison,” said Sarah Small of Decarcerate PA, a statewide coalition of more than 75 organizations opposing prison construction and supporting policies that reduce the number of people in prison. “Other states are finding ways to reduce their prison populations and close prisons. It’s time Pennsylvania caught up to the rest of the country.”
“Picture This!” campaign illustrates costs of prison expansion
Governor Corbett just signed off on a controversial budget that he says will put the state on a “diet.” But when it comes to prisons, the governor continues to loosen Pennsylvania’s belt.
The 2012-2013 budget completely eliminates General Assistance and fails to restore last year’s $840 million cut to public education, yet continues to fund the $685 million plan to build two new prisons in Montgomery County and a third in Centre County. These new prisons—along with the expansions of nine existing facilities—add over 5,000 beds to the state prison system even as Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel has set a goal of reducing the prison population by approximately 5,000 people over the next five years.