Ravenstahl shocked and disappointed about decision to close SCI-Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH, Jan. 26 – State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl, D-Allegheny, expressed his dismay at the state's decision to close SCI-Pittsburgh in a measure to save costs.
The announcement was made this morning, after the Department of Corrections considered five prisons throughout the commonwealth for possible closure. The relocation of nearly 2,000 inmates and final closure is expected by the end of June and the DOC estimates the closure will save the state up to $81 million annually.
“I believe the decision to close SCI-Pittsburgh, and only SCI-Pittsburgh, is a shortsighted solution to a long-term budget problem,” Ravenstahl said. "While the statewide prison population has been shrinking and savings may be available, closing such a vital part of Pittsburgh's employment community will cost the city much in lost wages and opportunities.
"Western Pen not only employs more than 500 local residents, it also maintains a top-notch medical wing, offering support for those going through drug withdrawal when they enter the prison system and a comprehensive oncology unit. The state is responsible for providing our prisoners adequate health care and this move will only weaken that commitment.
"I appreciate the way local residents pulled together to help fight this decision, including the 848 people who signed my online petition and other elected officials. We must now turn our fight to helping all those who will be affected, both employees and inmates and their families, to make the transition as smooth as possible."