Proposal would ask Philly voters to create Dept. of Prisons

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A Philadelphia City Council Committee has approved two bills asking voters to approve changes to the city charter affecting prisons and sustainability.

One bill would create a city Department of Prisons and transfer all the current prison operations to the new agency. Now city prisons operate under the Department of Human Services.

“We will not incur any additional costs and the shift will not impact prison operations,” Public Safety Director Michael Resnik said. “It will however elevate the prison’s commissioner to the same level as police and fire and other commissioners, and will afford the commissioner the needed leeway in managing the prison operations and importantly it will place the office of RISE, the re-integration’s services for ex-offenders within the prison system.”

A second proposal would make the Office of Sustainability permanent.  The office manages how Philly spends money on energy and is looking for a larger role in reducing the carbon footprint generally. 

If approved by all of council, the charter change questions could be on the November ballot.

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