HARRISBURG, Pa., May 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 1,000 inmates have returned to Pennsylvania prisons after being housed in Michigan since February 2010, Corrections Secretary John E. Wetzel announced today.
"Returning these inmates home is important because it eases the burden on inmates' families and also keeps taxpayer money in Pennsylvania rather than spending it elsewhere," Wetzel said. "Ninety percent of our inmates will return home after incarceration and helping them to maintain their family support is vital to their successful return into society.''
Over the past several months, Pennsylvania's prison population has continued to level off, making it possible to return the 1,111 inmates back to state facilities.
"While the population decrease is slight, it is enough – when combined with current capacity expansion projects – to allow us to bring our inmates home," Wetzel said.
In 2008, a moratorium was issued on paroling inmates. By 2010, state prison officials moved inmates to Michigan and Virginia as a precautionary measure to avoid serious situations that could arise because of severe overcrowding.
"Today, with a return to near previous parole rates, our prison system has experienced some relief," Wetzel said.
"The transfer and housing of more than 1,000 inmates is a monumental undertaking, which Michigan performed with remarkable skill and competence," Wetzel said. "It has been a sincere pleasure working with Michigan's Department of Corrections. They have demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism and courtesy in dealing with Pennsylvania staff and in providing for the housing of our inmates.''
Wetzel said about 1,000 inmates will continue to be housed in Virginia, but that he plans to continue to monitor the population in order to return those inmates to Pennsylvania as soon as feasible.
Media contact: Susan McNaughton, 717-975-4879
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Corrections