Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Prison closures on the rise nationwide

The Sentencing Project recently issued a report, On the Chopping Block 2012: State Prison Closings, highlighting the closure of state prisons across the country.

In 2012, at least six states have closed 20 prison institutions or are contemplating doing so, potentially reducing prison capacity by over 14,100 beds and resulting in an estimated $337 million in savings. During 2012, Florida led the nation in prison closings with its closure of 10 correctional facilities; the state’s estimated cost savings for prison closings totals over $65 million. This year’s prison closures build on closures observed in 2011 when at least 13 states reported prison closures and reduced prison capacity by an estimated 15,500 beds.

An examination of projected budgets for fiscal year 2013 indicates that at least 12 states are planning to decrease correctional expenditures, with prison closures being one mechanism to do so.

Pennsylvania plans to open two new prisons.  One near Bellefonte, Benner Township, and Pheonix I & II in Philadelphia.  Both prisons are near existing prisons, SCI Rockview and SCI Graterford.  The estimated cost of the new construction is about $600 million.

For full report: http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/On%20the%20Chopping%20Block%202012.pdf

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