Mullery objects to planned closure of SCI-Retreat

HARRISBURG, Aug. 28 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery is readying himself for another battle: this time against the planned closure of the State Correctional Institution at Retreat.

"This is more bad news for an area already reeling from last week's White Haven Center closure announcement impacting 122 residents, their families, over 400 workers, and the surrounding business community," said Mullery, D-Luzerne, of today's announcement by the state Department of Corrections.

"This latest closure will impact another 400 employees – 80% of whom live in Luzerne County -- dealing another blow of job losses and economic impact to our region.

"These decisions are easy to make from behind a desk in Harrisburg when you don't have to look those affected in the eyes or listen to their concerns. Governor Wolf and Secretary Wetzel need to visit Newport Township to see those whose lives they are disrupting and to hear, first-hand, the impact of this proposed decision," Mullery said. "Our corrections officers should be worried about safely patrolling the blocks they guard, not whether they will need to find a new job, uproot their family, or be able to pay their bills," Mullery added.

"Thanks to the united front of local and state elected officials, business and industry leaders, and the community at large, we successfully blocked the last proposed closure and we will do so again."

In 2017, Mullery and the rest of the Northeast Delegation fought the planned closure of SCI-Retreat, SCI-Frackville and SCI-Waymart, and were successful in showing state officials that they needed to remain open. They also were instrumental in enacting Act 133 of 2018, which requires a multi-step process to be followed before Corrections can decide to close a state prison.