Philadelphia Schools Closing While A New $400 Million Prison Is Under Construction: Could It Be Worse Than It Sounds?
Philadelphia laid off thousands of school employees last week after the state of Pennsylvania continued its austerity measures against public schools. And while the state is essentially destroying Philadelphia public schools through under-funding (claiming budgetary concerns), it somehow found enough money to build a $400 million prison just outside of the city…. The school closures, which (of course) disproportionately affect schools in poor and minority neighborhoods, will force students to venture far outside of their own neighborhoods to attend their closest school.
Well, according to the DOC’s most recent population report, the system as a whole is operating at about 105 percent capacity. That means the DOC, as of April 30, housed 2,705 more prisoners than it ideally should’ve. That’s something. And one of the most grossly overpopulated prisons in the state is the State Correctional Institute at Graterford (SCI Graterford), which is by far the largest prison in the state. The new, gleaming, $400 million SCI Phoenix complexes will sit physically near SCI Graterford.