Lawmakers in Westmoreland County have made a formal request to the state Department of Corrections, asking the department to reconsider closing SCI Greensburg in Hempfield Township.
The lawmakers explain that they appreciate the Department of Corrections’ concern for operating in a fiscally responsible manner, but ask that they display transparency by holding House and Senate hearings into the matter. The letter was signed by State Sen. Kim Ward, along with a long list of state representatives that include Joseph Petrarca, who represents an area that includes Derry Township.
The letter was also signed by Congressman Tim Murphy and the Westmoreland County Commissioners. Officials with the Department of Corrections have not responded to the letter. News of the closure of SCI Greensburg was accompanied by the planned closure of SCI Cresson in Cambria County. Officials there are asking Governor Tom Corbett for a 12-month moratorium on any decision to close the prisons. State officials say both prisons will close before the end of June. The state plans to open a new prison in Centre County.
Workers will be transferred to the new prison, but also could be moved to a new 300-bed facility at SCI Pine Grove here in Indiana County. Prison employees have until Jan. 22nd to tell the state where they’d like to be transferred.