Mercer County prison on list of potential prison closings

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania prison officials say they plan to close two state prisons. They cite falling inmate numbers, the need to save money and other factors.

The Wolf administration said Friday the two will be chosen from a list of five facilities, and the decision about which two to shutter will be announced in three weeks.

The five prisons on the list are Frackville, Mercer, Pittsburgh, Retreat and Waymart.

All staff will be offered transfers to other facilities.

The state prison population is now just over 49,000. It was close to 52,000 in 2012.

Another factor in the closings is that room for an additional 1,000 inmates recently became available at Camp Hill State Prison.

The decision about which two to close will be made Jan. 26.

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