No More Prisons: A Call to Decarcerate Pennsylvania
Governor Corbett is seeking to expand nine existing prisons and build three brand new ones. This plan will add 8,000 new beds to our state’s already massive prison system, at a cost of more than $685 million. Yet in 2011 the governor cut nearly $1 billion from education and made massive cuts to a host of other essential programs and services.
Decarcerate PA is a grassroots campaign made up of organizations and individuals throughout Pennsylvania working to maximize public health and safety by putting a halt to the state’s broken and bloated prison system. We seek an end to prison construction and an expansion to initiatives that would reduce our reliance on prisons to begin with. Decarcerate PA has come together around three core initiatives to boost Pennsylvania’s economic, environmental, and ethical health. With your help, we can put an end to mass incarceration.
Decarcerate PA platform:
1. No new prisons. Enough is enough! More prisons means more problems. We advocate that Pennsylvania enact an immediate and lasting moratorium on all new prisons, county or city jails, prison expansions, new beds in county jails, immigrant detention facilities, and private prisons.
2. Decarceration. Prison overcrowding can be solved only by reducing the number of people in prison. We advocate that Pennsylvania shrink its prison population by reforming existing arrest, sentencing, and parole practices. We also call for the full restoration of civil and human rights for formerly incarcerated people.
3. Community Reinvestment. Imprisonment guts local resources and destroys families. We need to build communities, not prisons. We advocate that Pennsylvania reinvest money spent on prisons into community institutions including quality public schools, stable housing, jobs and job training programs, health care and food access, drug and alcohol treatment programs, and community-based reentry services.
We the undersigned support this platform and demand that Pennsylvania stop building prisons and instead actively engage in decarceration and community reinvestment: