Mar. 30, 2023

Acting Secretary Dr. Laurel Harry, along with Christian Stephens, Deputy Secretary for Office or Field Services, Christopher Oppman, Deputy Secretary for Administration, Kelly Evans, Deputy Secretary for Office of Reentry, and Tammy Ferguson, Deputy Secretary Eastern Region from the Department of Corrections and PA Parole Board Chairman, Theodore Johnson, testified before the House Appropriations Committee. House Republicans focused their questions on the expenses of state prisons, what can be done to reduce those costs, and the safety in our state prisons for corrections officers and inmates.  Additionally, House Republicans asked what can be done by the department to help with the problems in the Delaware County prison.  

Key Takeaways

Over the past decade the population in state prisons has declined as costs have risen. House Republicans believe some of these costs could be reduced by following the Independent Fiscal Office’s Performance-Based Budget Plan for Corrections in order to operate more efficiently and effectively. 
Crime in Pennsylvania has been on the rise over the past year. House Republicans believe it is imperative the Department of Corrections be prepared to safely house inmates.
House Republicans believe one of the best ways we can reduce recidivism is by training incarcerated individuals for jobs that our economy needs.  
Properly staffed prisons are a key part of keeping our citizens safe. House Republicans support the efforts of the department to recruit and retain corrections officers.   

Notable Q&A

Rep. Torren Ecker asks the Department of Corrections about the safety of corrections officers and if the department is following IFO recommendations.  

Rep. John Lawrence asks the Department of Corrections what it is doing to help the Delaware County prison with its recent issues over the past year.
Watch Full Hearing