Gov. Tom Corbett has once again proposed a budget to keep Pennsylvania on the path of unchecked prison growth and underinvestment in education and social services.
His proposed 2013-2014 budget does little to restore the $1 billion cut from education and millions more cut from social services during his tenure. Yet under Corbett's plan, the Department of Corrections would receive about $68 million in increased operating funds and $166 million for capital projects.
Philadelphia, PA: Hundreds are expected to protest outside the Academy of Natural Sciences on Thursday, January 31, while Governor Corbett speaks with the Chamber of Commerce inside.The rally will highlight Governor Corbett’s failed policies, demanding that he cancel his $685 million prison expansion plan and fully fund public education and social services.
Check out this great video of Decarcerate PA members J. Jondhi Harrell, Anthony Dickerson, Joshua Glenn, and Thomas Ditcher speaking on a panel about mass incarceration after a screening of Broken on all Sides:
For the past year, a hugely expensive new state prison has sat empty in Centre County. Despite calls to cancel the $200 million construction when he took office, Gov. Tom Corbett stubbornly moved forward with the unnecessary 2,000-bed prison project, along with construction of two more prisons, each costing another $200 million, in Montgomery County. As has long been the pattern with prison construction in Pennsylvania, the state decided to build first and ask questions later.
Caving to public pressure to curb prison expansion, the Corbett administration just announced the closure of two Pennsylvania prisons, SCI Cresson in Cambria County and SCI Greensburg in Westmoreland County. However, the Department of Corrections is still planning to open the recently completed 2000 bed facility in Benner Township, and is just now beginning construction on two new prisons in Montgomery County.
PUBLIC STATEMENT – JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: LIFERS, INC.
Pennsylvania’s prison population is bursting at the seams; while other states are closing their prisons and saving money, Governor Corbett wants to build more prisons burdening taxpayers who are already struggling with day-to-day survival in our recessive economy.
My name is James Hough and I’ve been imprisoned for almost two decades for a crime I committed as a juvenile. While I’ve been here I’ve watched the prison population grow larger, younger, and browner (as if wasn’t brown enuff!). I’ve witnessed the prison rip families and communities apart by transferring prisoners hundreds of miles away from loved ones. I’ve seen the economic burden that prisoners’ families and friends must endure – the “prison tax” – for cheap and unreliable services, such as the expensive, long-distance phone calls and high travel/visitation rates.