New Pennsylvania prison to go on Graterford site

    Planning is under way for a new prison in Montgomery County.

    The State Correctional Institution is slated to be built near the existing Graterford prison in Skippack Township, on property already owned by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    Department of Corrections spokeswoman Susan McNaughton says the majority of state prisoners come from Philadelphia and surrounding counties, so the agency wants to house them close to family and friends. Montgomery County was a logical location.

    “It allows for family members to visit their incarcerated individual and help them maintain their support mechanisms because 90 percent of our inmates are one day going to go home,” McNaughton said. “And family support is one of the things that’s important to help them re-enter society.”

    In March, the Corbett administration canceled prison construction in the Fayette County district of House Democrat Bill DeWeese.

    DeWeese said the Montgomery County location is a political slap from the administration. DeWeese was charged in 2009 by then-Attorney General Corbett with theft and conspiracy for allegedly campaigning with state resources.

    A spokesman for the Department of General Services says all prison projects already under way when Corbett became governor were re-evaluated.

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