Pa. prisoners returned from Michigan jails
Friday, May 27, 2011
By John Manganaro , Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — More than 1,000 inmates sent to Michigan prisons once again are housed in Pennsylvania, state corrections officials announced today.
Pennsylvania transferred the prisoners in February 2010 to alleviate crowding due to a moratorium on new paroles. Another 1,000 prisoners were sent to Virginia.
The state’s prison population has since declined slightly, allowing the state to meet its end-of-June timeline for bringing the Michigan prisoners back, Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said.
“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,” Mr. Wetzel said.
Pennsylvania’s prison population stands at about 51,000.
There is no timetable for bringing back the 1,000 prisoners being held in Virginia prisons, Mr. Wetzel said. He plans to continue to monitor the prison population to return those inmates to Pennsylvania “as soon as feasible,” he said.
It cost the state $62 a day to house each of the inmates out of state. Bringing all of the inmates back to Pennsylvania is expected to save about $20 million in corrections costs.
John Manganaro is an intern with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents Association.
First published on May 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm