Philadelphia’s oldest operating jail, House of Corrections, opened in 1927. Mayor Jim Kenney and Prisons Commissioner announced the closure of the jail by 2020, because it did not have modern security and public safety features.
Prison officials stated the closing of the jail was also due to a declining prison population, and the lack of facilities for education and job training.
An important factor in reducing Philadelphia’s jail population was the $3.5 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge.
The grant obligated city officials to develop programs and policies to reduce the jail population by 34 percent over three years. Since July 2015, there is a 32 percent decrease. Laurie Garduque, director of justice reform at MacArthur Foundation stated:
“Mass incarceration begins with jails and the local justice systems in which they operate…The closing of the House of Correction is an example of what can happen when local leaders commit to smart reforms that make their justice systems fairer and more effective, with the aim of protecting the well being of individuals, families, and communities.”
Sponsored by the Fishman Firm: Brian Fishman has been practicing law in Philadelphia since 2002. His practice has been dedicated almost exclusively to criminal law, although he also handles personal injury and civil right matters. Brian has been admitted to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey and in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. After graduating cum laude from Temple University Law School where he was an editor on the Temple Law Review, Brian went to work as an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. There he tried hundreds of cases, including many jury trials. Brian litigated cases in Pennsylvania’s Municipal Court, Juvenile Court and the Court of Common Pleas. Brian, as a Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney, prosecuted a variety of serious criminal cases including rape, firearm offenses, attempted murder, burglary, robbery, DUIs and narcotics offenses. Brian can be contacted at his firm’s web site: http://www.thefishmanfirm.com/