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Hazleton, PA 18201
Phone: (570) 453-1344
Fax: (570) 459-3946
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Legislation Requiring Public Input Regarding Location of Community Corrections Centers Advances, Says Toohil
10/2/2012
Measure would impact facilities like MinSec

HARRISBURG – A measure co-sponsored and strongly supported by state Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne), which would establish public notice requirements and population limitations on privately-run correctional centers, was passed unanimously today by the House Local Government Committee.

The legislation would apply to all for-profit entities proposing to open a facility designed to provide services and beds to inmates who have been released from a federal, state or county correctional institution to complete their sentences in a community setting.

During the meeting, Toohil explained how such requirements could have prevented the opening of the MinSec pre-release corrections facility in downtown Hazleton, which has created significant community concern related to crimes committed by current and former MinSec residents.

“People were very much unaware of what type of a facility it was until, over time, numerous offenses were committed by state prisoners or parolees housed there, including robberies and murders,” said Toohil. “It really has had a detrimental impact on the Hazleton area.”



House Bill 111 would require the owner of the proposed correctional center to conduct a public hearing in the municipality where the facility would be located no later than 120 days before it opens. At the hearing, the center’s owner would explain the services to be provided, the type and number of inmates to be housed, and the security measures to be employed.

The center’s owner would also be required to notify the members of the General Assembly representing the districts in which the center is proposed to operate no later than 180 days before it opens.

In addition, House Bill 111 limits the inmate population of the correctional center to not more than five inmates per 1,000 population of the municipality in which the facility would be located.

“Although there is a purpose for these types of facilities, the community is going to have to bear a burden if they are not run properly,” said Toohil. “The notice and public hearing requirements that are in this bill are extremely important and they will protect communities.”

House Bill 111 now moves to the full House for consideration.

For more information on Toohil and her legislative priorities, visit RepToohil.com or Facebook.com/RepToohil.



State Representative Tarah Toohil
116th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
RepToohil.com
Facebook.com/RepToohil
717.260.6136
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