CARBONDALE, January 17, 2017 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that he has started an online petition on his website to save the operations at SCI Waymart, which is one of five state prisons being considered for closure.

The petition, located at, will be forwarded to Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel with the names of all signees prior to the final announcement of which two prisons will be closed on January 26.

“I remain committed to doing all I can as a state Senator to protect the jobs, operations and the regional economic impact of SCI Waymart.  With all of the feedback my office has been receiving, however, I thought it would be important to solicit public input that could be shared with the Wolf Administration voicing our collective support to retain our current correctional institutions.” Blake said. “I encourage everyone who has friends or family employed at SCI Waymart or vendors who do business with the facility to sign our petition and ensure that the voices of the people in northeastern Pennsylvania are heard on this important issue.”

Earlier today, Blake toured SCI Waymart and met with employees and management of the facility.

“I had the opportunity to tour SCI Waymart earlier today and discussed their specialized operations with some of the most dedicated and talented corrections employees in the Commonwealth,” Blake added. “While I certainly appreciate the Wolf administration’s efforts to address the significant fiscal constraints in our state budget, decisions about our corrections facilities are public safety issues.  I do not believe that the consequences of closing any state prison have been fully vetted. I look forward to continuing our coordinated efforts to protect family-sustaining jobs in our communities. 

Blake said that he will be participating in a Town Hall Meeting tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. at the Carbondale Grand Hotel and Conference Center. The meeting will also be attended by a host of elected officials, Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association (PSCOA) representatives and local corrections workers.

“While I am confident that operations at SCI Waymart are too specialized to be successfully replicated elsewhere in our corrections system, it is important that we continue to voice our support for these workers and to protect the substantial regional economic impact of the prison,” Blake added. ”I also look forward to continuing public dialogue on this important matter in our town hall meeting in Carbondale and at upcoming Senate committee hearings.”

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