Congressman Matt Cartwright

Representing the 17th District of Pennsylvania
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Rep. Cartwright Discusses Proposed Prison Closures with Department of Corrections Secretary Wetzel

Jan 11, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright met with Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel regarding the possible closure of state prisons located in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

On Friday, January 6, Secretary Wetzel announced that the Department of Corrections (DOC) will close two state correctional institutions.  DOC is currently considering five facilities for possible closure, and will announce which prisons will close on January 26.  The Northeastern Pennsylvania prisons under consideration for closure are SCI Waymart, SCI Retreat, and SCI Frackville. 

DOC estimates that the prison closures will impact several thousand inmates and more than 800 staff members.

Rep. Cartwright expressed his concerns to Secretary Wetzel about the potential economic impact on local communities the closures may have and urged DOC to consider the full impact on the region before closing any facilities.

“My meeting with Secretary Wetzel allowed for a frank, open discussion into the matter, and the Secretary indicated that Governor Wolf and the Department of Corrections are willing to listen to our concerns,” said Rep. Cartwright.  “I will be closely monitoring the Department of Corrections’ decision and its impact going forward.”

Rep. Matt Cartwright represents Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District, which includes Schuylkill County and portions of Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, and Northampton Counties.  Cartwright serves on the House Committee on Appropriations.