HARRISBURG, Pa. (WKBN) – A public hearing has been set for later this month in Harrisburg to discuss Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal to close two state prisons this summer. Mercer County is on the list of prisons considered for closure.
The hearing will be held on Monday, January 23, at 9:30 a.m. It will allow representatives of each community to speak.
Five prisons are under consideration for closure – Frackville, Pittsburgh, Retreat, Waymart and Mercer. Two of the five will close.
Wolf said the closings will save the state money, but Mercer County State Representative Tedd Nesbit is not so sure.
“I’m just really worried that this is a political decision rather than an economic decision,” he said. “I don’t think when you’re using friends, and family, and neighbors up there with these jobs that it’s a good thing to use politics instead of good public policy.”
Nesbit questions if closing prisons is the way to save jobs, since most of the guards will be offered jobs at other places. He said it will also cost at least a million dollars a year to mothball the prisons.
The representative worries it could be a snap decision.