Lawmakers in Cambria County plan to meet with residents this week as a way to put more pressure on state officials to keep SCI Cresson open.
They also took their case before last Tuesday’s Senate judiciary hearing, with little progress reported. Officials, including State Representative Gary Huluska, who represents Patton, says he’s hoping that if people in the Cresson area make their voices heard, the state may reconsider the plan to close the Cresson prison.
The meeting is scheduled for this Thursday at the Cresson Fire Hall. Officials say that although the state plans to close the prison, it has not attempted to find another use for the building or prison grounds, or asked legislators for their input. In addition to the prison in Cambria County, the state is set to close SCI Greensburg in Westmoreland County. Both prisons have been pinpointed as having two of the highest vacancy rates in the state prison system.
Workers at both prisons will be transferred across the state, with a focus on a new prison in Centre County. Workers could also end up at a new 300-bed expansion planned for SCI Pine Grove here in Indiana County. The state hopes to have both prisons closed by the end of June.