Mullery responds to DOC report recommending closure of SCI-Retreat

HARRISBURG, Jan. 15 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today expressed his disappointment over a Department of Corrections report recommending the closure of the State Correctional Institution at Retreat.

“Unfortunately, there were no surprises contained in the DOC report or recommendations. We’ve known from the onset of this process that it was nothing more than a charade and violative of the spirit of Act 133,” Mullery said.

“I’ve met privately with Governor Wolf and discussed the impact of this proposed closure, but it appears he will move forward with his recommendation. I expect an announcement by weeks end. Now we must focus on the displaced employees and ensure their transition to new facilities is expeditious and safe. For those who cannot undertake a transition, we need to offer assistance in the form of education and/or career training.”

“Secondly, we need to assist the communities directly affected by this closure. I, along with a few colleagues and the governor, have begun preparing legislation directing assistance to employees and municipalities burdened by the closure of a large, state-run facility. I expect that legislation to be finalized and introduced shortly.

“Finally, I remain steadfast in my belief that Department of Corrections Secretary John E. Wetzel should be removed from the governor’s cabinet. He doesn’t possess the temperament, professionalism, or competence to run a used car lot, let alone the DOC. I have genuine concern for the safety of all DOC personnel under his command.”