I applaud the Administration’s announcement today that the City plans to close the House of Correction by 2020.
As a member of City Council, I have made it my mission to discover and support efforts that will help the City of Philadelphia operate more efficiently. Closing a prison is one step, a very big step, and I have been strongly advocating for the City to do so with the goal to do more.
The prison population in Philadelphia has reduced 32 percent in the last three years, a remarkable feat. However, the Philadelphia Department of Prisons budget is still too bloated and I have suggested we make it a goal to reduce our budget by 15 percent which would generate approximately $48 million in savings per year or $240 million over a five-year plan.
I will continue to urge that we take additional necessary actions that will further reduce our prison population and the overall prison budget with a heightened focus on investments that will support diversion programs and initiatives that assist persons on reentry.
I commend the Administration for its stewardship of the MacArthur Foundation grant and thank all the stakeholders and partners who have made the decision to close the House of Correction possible.
I look forward to the work ahead that will help us accomplish more progress on this comprehensive issue.
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