New correctional facility could be in Philadelphia’s future

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 Philadelphia Prisons Commissioner Louis Giorla said there is a dire need to replace the House of Correction in Northeast Philadelphia. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia Prisons Commissioner Louis Giorla said there is a dire need to replace the House of Correction in Northeast Philadelphia. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Officials in the city of Philadelphia are thinking about prison construction as the capital spending plan has earmarked some funds to replace a facility in the city’s Northeast.

The vastly outdated House of Correction in Northeast Philadelphia needs to be replaced, said Louis Giorla, prisons commissioner. The facility opened in 1874 and hasn’t been renovated since 1929.

“It’s not electronically wired so we can operated the cell locks, there are deficiencies in the roofing and in the windows, and no air conditioning,” he said. “And the style of movement and housing does not support unit management direct supervision which is the correctional practice that we engage in today.”

But building a new prison is expensive, and just buying property and doing a study on the replacement are expected to cost the city about $5 million. A previous correctional facility built in Northeast Philadelphia cost in the neighborhood of $60 million.

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