HUNLOCK CREEK, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Update: 2:00 PM
State lawmakers issue a statement concerning the proposed closing of S.C.I. Retreat. This comes after the announcement of the closing of another state facility in Luzerne County.
Senator John Yudichak, Senator Lisa Baker and Senator John Gordner Statement on Proposed Closure of SCI Retreat
Today, we heard from unions representing SCI Retreat that a formal announcement regarding the proposed closure of SCI Retreat will be forthcoming in the days ahead from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC).
The proposed closure of SCI Retreat combined with the proposed closure of White Haven State Center is a devastating and dramatic blow to the families of Luzerne County. The families and communities of Luzerne County will be forced to deal with the loss of nearly 900 family-sustaining jobs and over $100 million in direct, annual economic impact.
While we understand the constraints and challenges of the state budget, Luzerne County is being asked to shoulder an unfair burden of responsibility for balancing the budget.
We oppose the proposed closures of SCI Retreat and White Haven State Center. We will voice our opposition through every means at our disposal, especially the recently enacted Act 133 of 2018, that requires the PA DOC to hold a public hearing to justify the closure of a state corrections facility.
As we did two years ago, we will join forces to fight for the families of Luzerne County. We understand the odds are not in our favor, and historical policy trends are against us. However, we are going to make the case to the Administration that SCI Retreat and White Haven State Center are too important to the families they serve and too important to the regional economy to be shuttered.
Sources in Harrisburg tell Eyewitness News Lead I-Team Reporter Andy Mehalshick that a move is underway to close S.C.I. Retreat in Luzerne County.
The facility was targeted for closure two years ago but remained open after a massive public outcry.
417 people work at SCI Retreat.
We’ll have more on this story as it develops.