Jan. 12, 2017

Dear Editor:
It is of grave concern to learn that SCI Waymart is being considered for closure. SCI Waymart has long been viewed as the pre-eminent mental health correctional facility in the Commonwealth. That critical focus and mission, alone, should remove SCI Waymart from the list of facilities being considered for closure, but I will provide additional justification for keeping it operational.

First, we have a rural economy in Wayne County and the immediate region. We are not diverse in jobs and employment opportunity. Wayne County already “takes it on the chin” in being deprived of economic opportunity because of the unjust and wholly unreasonable ban on natural gas drilling. We can look to neighboring Susquehanna County (part of my legislative district) to see the vast opportunity, benefits and economic stimulation that comes with natural gas.

Next, SCI Waymart has already undergone considerable upgrades and is poised for growth, not mothballing. It now has inexpensive and clean-burning natural gas as a fuel source. It has upgraded its water and wastewater infrastructure, undergone roofing improvements and razed outdated portions of the facility to realize additional efficiency.

SCI Waymart is an institution that not only supports 725-plus hard-working, devoted employees, but also sets the standard for corrections and inmate care in a time that our Commonwealth is struggling with mental health issues and a crippling opioid and heroin epidemic.

Representative Jonathan Fritz
111th Legislative District

Representative Jonathan Fritz
111th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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