Last week, seven members of Decarcerate PA set up school desks, banners, and a little red schoolhouse to block the entrance to the prison construction site in Montgomery County, PA. They then sat at the desks, linking arms and refusing to move or allow construction vehicles onto the sight. Construction was delayed for over an hour before all seven protesters were arrested and taken away. The new prisons are being built on the grounds of SCI Graterford in Montgomery County. If completed, they will cost $400 million and house 4,100 people.
Decarcerate PA is determined to stop Governor Corbett from spending $400 million to build two new prisons outside of Philadelphia. These new prisons represent an expansion of mass incarceration in Pennsylvania and a continuation of policies that lock people up instead of giving our communities the resources they need to thrive. The money used to build these prisons is money that is being stolen from our schools, our healthcare, reentry programs, social services, and the environment.
To stop the prison construction in Montgomery County, Decarcerate PA has taken to the streets. We’ve written letters to the governor. We’ve called our elected officials. We’ve interrupted the governor’s town hall meetings to demand a prison moratorium. We’ve publicly called out the Department of Corrections on their lies and misinformation. We’ve raised awareness about the construction through opinion pieces and a social media campaign that was viewed by thousands. And yet the construction continues.
That’s why, this morning, seven members of Decarcerate PA put their bodies on the line to stop the prison construction in Montgomery County. They engaged in this action at the construction site to increase pressure on Governor Corbett and to shine a spotlight on his irresponsible and destructive expansion of Pennsylvania’s prison system.
Learn more about Decarcerate PA, a grassroots campaign working to end mass incarceration in Pennsylvania and demanding that PA stop building prisons, reduce the prison population, and reinvest money in our communities.