After reading the viewpoint in the Mirror about the housing of Pennsylvania's inmates, I felt the need to comment. I agree that the Department of Corrections needs to rethink its policies.
The cost of housing inmates out of state will be a huge taxpayer burden. But there are also state inmates being housed in Pennsylvania county prisons at a cost of $62 per day.
One county prison accepting and housing state prisoners is York County prison. While in this facility, state prisoners are not able to participate in programs that would enable them to finish their sentences, be released and get back home, thus not costing the state money. Even having some inmates at home on monitoring with electronic bracelets would bring in money to the Department of Corrections.
As for the Department of Corrections choosing inmates who don't get many visits for out-of-state incarceration, they may not get visits because their families are unable to travel the distances because of financial difficulties or time. So this is not a fair criteria. But then the Department of Corrections is not known for fairness or common sense.
Also in that paper, there was an article about a Blair County inmate being transferred to Cresson to save the county money.
It mentioned that the transfer would also make it easier for him to communicate with his family.
That is quite a privilege for a person charged with homicide while others incarcerated for much lesser crimes are housed in facilities that make it virtually impossible for them to see or phone their families.
Let's hope that one day soon the Department of Corrections makes a sensible decision.