SEIU Local 668, which represents corrections counselors, vocational counselors, and other social services specialists within Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections (DOC), was disappointed by Secretary Wetzel’s remarks at the October hearing concerning the proposed closure of SCI Retreat. The intent of Act 133 is to ensure that decisions to close correctional facilities in the Commonwealth are made through a fair, balanced, and transparent process that includes DOC stakeholders. Secretary Wetzel’s remarks, caught on a hot mic, cast doubt on the process, thereby undermining it and the law.
We applaud Wolf’s administration decision to remove Secretary Wetzel from the remainder of the Act 133 process. We hope that going forward, the administration and the DOC facilitates a clear and open dialogue with its stakeholders, including not only our members and other DOC employees, but also the community members and residents of Hunlock Creek, and the greater Luzerne County area.