Wolf: Pennsylvania prison population declined by 842 in 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Wolf administration says Pennsylvania’s prison population decreased by 842 inmates last year, the biggest one-year decline in 40 years, but a union leader says the numbers are misleading.

Gov. Tom Wolf and Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said Tuesday the decrease is driven by a 2012 law that is reducing the number of offenders in prison and diverting parole violators to less-expensive halfway houses, called community corrections centers.

But Roy Pinto, president of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association, says many parole violators at the corrections centers who should have been returned to prison for infractions are instead being kept at the centers until they’re released to make the program look better.

Pinto says the changes have resulted in crowding at the community centers and mandatory overtime for corrections officers.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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