PA Launches Website For (Still-Tenuous) Corrections Consolidation Plan

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HARRISBURG (WSKG) — The Wolf administration has launched a new website touting its plan to consolidate the state Department of Corrections with the Board of Probation and Parole. But the proposal–which is a major part of the governor’s budget–is far from a sure thing. 

The website primarily functions as a place to pitch the consolidation to voters.

Cost savings is a big incentive. It’s an extremely tight budget year, and lumping the board and agency together could save up to $125 million or so over five years.

The administration maintains the consolidation will also make the corrections system more efficient, and hopefully lead to better policies that lower recidivism.

But House GOP spokesman Stephen Miskin said lawmakers are concerned that puts priorities in the wrong place.

“That’s one of those agencies where public safety should be the chief concern, not necessarily economics,” he said.

The House jettisoned a similar bill last year after the Senate passed it.

Miskin did note, this year there’s a little more willingness to give the plan a chance.

“I think members are trying to be more open-minded about it,” he said. 

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