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Prison Closure

Here's What's Happening...

Please scroll down to see previously-posted information, as this is a constantly-updated page that serves as a timeline of events specific to this closure.

June 14, 2017 Update:
 The last inmate at SCI Pittsburgh was transferred out of the prison on May 19.  Several employees remain at the prison to help with the relocation of equipment to other state prisons.
Many wonder to where the DOC transferred all of the inmates.
Here is an image that shows you exactly that:
PIT - Transfers out of SCIP Inmates - chart showing where they went in the DOC June 2017.jpg
As you can see, the facility that received the most inmates was SCI Graterford, with Pine Grove being second and Coal Township being third.  SCIs Greene and Camp Hill saw the fewest Pittsburgh inmates, with 8 and 12, respectively.
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May 22, 2017 Update:
SCI Pittsburgh's inmate population, as of May 19, is zero.
Most of the remaining employees at SCI Pittsburgh began their new assignments on May 21.
On May 19, a ceremony to retire the flags was held, with three prisons present to assist the SCI Pittsburgh Honor Guard.  Those faciliteis were, SCIs Fayette and Greene and Allegheny County Prison.
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May 12, 2017 Update:
The population at SCI Pittsburgh is down to the final 10 inmates.
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April 12, 2017 Update:
 PLEASE NOTE: Due to the planned closure of SCI Pittsburgh by June 30, 2017, the prison is reducing its visiting days from seven to THREE.  The visiting room is now only open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m.  The prison will continue to welcome the PA Prison Society bus on every third Wednesday of the month.
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March 24, 2017 Update:
The closure process for SCI Pittsburgh/Riverside Community Corrections Center continues to progress.
As of March 24, 2017, SCI Pittsburgh’s population is 811; and Riverside CCC has 11 reentrants.
Several housing units at the prison already have been closed, while others continue to be taken out of operation as the inmate population continues to be reduced.
Effective March 23, 2017, the DOC’s hiring freeze related to this closure was lifted, and normal hiring/placement process resumed throughout the DOC.
The first major employee relocation movements are set to begin on April 9, with 41 employees relocating to other DOC facilities within the DOC’s western region.
Beginning April 3, SCI Greene will serve as the reception center for inmates committed to the DOC from western region counties. 
The DOC’s Bureau of Operations continues to work with the Department of General Services on the surveying of prison property and the planning for the use of various utilities through June 30 and beyond for mothballing purposes.  We are in the process of determining how long the DOC will be responsible for maintaining the facility.
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February 27, 2017 Update:
Inmate transfers have been taking place.  If you are looking to locate your loved one, please use the DOC's Inmate Locator. 
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February 23, 2017 Update:
Today, SCI Pittsburgh inmates were provided with information about inmate employment and their relocation.

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February 17, 2017 Update:
SCI Pittsburgh (SCIP)
·         The inmate population today at SCI Pittsburgh is 1,519.
Relocation of SCIP Special Units
·         Relocation of SCIP’s special units are on target with the established plans of action for each. 
·         Staff from a number of institutions that will be receiving special units from SCIP have visited SCIP to meet with staff, review operations, etc. to ensure a smooth relocation. 
·         Training needed for employees at the receiving facilities is under way.
SCI Camp Hill
·         SCI Camp Hill has been absorbing the inmate increase as expected.  Their population is in line and on track. 
Riverside CCC/Regional Office
·         Officials are narrowing the location for the region 3 office.
Bureau of Human Resources/BHR
·         Relocations agreements have been reached with PSCOA and AFSCME.
·         BHR continues to work with other unions on relocation agreements.
·         50% of the PSCOA H1 preferences have been received, remaining packets are due by 2/24/17.
·         AFSCME jobs have been posted, and the closing date for all is 2/28/17.
·         BHR is working with SCIP’s HR office on the H1 seniority list.
·         The employee information session at SCIP is set for 2/21.
·         It should be noted that SCIP employees are NOT limited to relocation within the hiring freeze zone.
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February 6, 2017 Update:
Below is the list of specialized units and programs that must be moved from SCI Pittsburgh to other facilities and their future homes: 
    1.   Mental Health Unit (MHU) – will relocate to Camp Hill
    2.   Secure Residential Treatment Unit (SRTU) – will relocate to Greene
    3.   Residential Treatment Unit (RTU) – will relocate to Somerset
    4.   Diversionary Treatment Unit (DTU) – will relocate to Somerset
    5.   Oncology – will relocate to Fayette
    6.   Diagnostic & Classification Center (DCC) – will relocate to Greene
    7.   Hemophilia Center – will relocate to Laurel Highlands
    8.   Veteran's Service Unit (VSU) – will relocate to Mercer
    9.   Therapeutic Communities (TC) – will relocate to Albion and Greene
    10. Tertiary Care (Infirmary) – will move to Mercer
    11. Vivitrol – will move to Houtzdale
    12. Transport/Hospital Staffing -- Officers will be detached duty from Mercer
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February 2, 2017 Update:
DOC officials continue to finalize plans of action for the relocation of SCIP's specialized units.
BHR continues to meet with and work with the various unions on the employee relocation agreements.
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February 1, 2017 Update:
Nancy Giroux, former SCI Albion superintendent who retired after several decades of service to the DOC, returns to the DOC as an annuitant who will serve as the on-site team leader for SCI Pittsburgh.  She will work out of SCI Mercer.
The relocation plans of action for SCI Pittsburgh's special units are expected to be finalized by the end of this week.  Once the plans are approved, we will let everyone know to where the various units will relocate.
The Office of Population Management has completed its inmate relocation Plan of Action, which is now being reviewed.  OPM reports that they are planning to move a set number of inmates per week out of SCI Pittsburgh which is equal to the traffic that had been coming out of our DCCs.  The weekly movement/relocation of inmates is not expected to cause any issues or concerns. 
Also, the DOC does not expect to have any backlogs of new commitment inmates coming into the system from surrounding counties, as was reported in the newspaper yesterday.  SCI Pittsburgh will receive new commitments from the western part of the state, and those inmates then will be sent to SCI Camp Hill for evaluation and classification.
Ron Morrison, assistant to Deputy Secretary Chris Oppman, is the lead in inventorying SCI Pittsburgh's equipment.  He is working now to develop a spreadsheet that will track ALL items and help in the relocation of said items to other prisons.  At no time shall any items or equipment leave the prison without Central Office notification/approval.
Human Resources:
SCI Pittsburgh employees have requested to be able to tour other prisons to see what they are like.  This request is being reviewed.
The Bureau of Human Resources (BHR) reports that the PSCOA relocation agreement is nearing completion, and meetings are scheduled with all of the other unions as well.  Once all are done, BHR can begin providing specific information to employees.  It should be noted that the relocation process can take up to 6 to 8 weeks before relocation actually happens. 
BHR also reports that they are working to have the State Employee Retirement System (SERS) and OA send representatives at SCI Pittsburgh to meet with employees about retirement and retirement benefits, respectively.
Additional items from BHR:
•BHR staff was on site 1/27/17 to answer questions and are available to answer additional questions via email or phone
•BHR has implemented hiring freezes at Albion, Cambridge Springs, Mercer, Forest, Pine Grove, Greene, Fayette, Somerset, Laurel Highlands, Progress CCC, Pittsburgh CCC, Johnstown CCC, Sharon CCC and Erie CCC and CCC Region 3.
•BHR staff is working with the institution HR Offices to ensure that all of the seniority lists are reviewed and updated as needed.
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January 30, 2017 Update:
DOC officials met today to discuss the beginning of Phase 2 of the prison closure process. Phase 1 involved work leading up to the identification of and announcing the prison closure.

The focus now is on establishing a timetable/timeline of events that need to happen.

For example, the Office of Population Management (OPM) is now developing a step-by-step plan to transfer inmates out of the prison. The process began last week, but the physical moves should begin this week. OPM Director William Nicklow estimates that it should take 20 weeks to draw down the prison’s inmate population.

As for the prison’s Diagnostic and Classification Center (DCC), the prison this week will stop serving as a DCC. It will remain a reception center, with new receptions being sent on to SCI Camp Hill for full DCC services. At some point in time the reception center will move to another prison in the region. That is being decided at this point in time. It also should be noted that all short min inmates will be sent to Camp Hill until the western region DCC is established.

Where treatment programs are concerned, Bureau of Treatment Services Director Tracy Smith  is working closely with the OPM to manage the various program waiting lists. A memo soon will be sent to the prison to direct when vocational programs, treatment programs and sex offender programs will need to stop taking new enrollments. Inmates at SCI Pittsburgh currently in programs will stay there to complete their programs, so as not to interrupt their progress.

Also, the DOC/Bureau of Treatment Services is working to determine to where the Vivitrol program will be relocated.

As for education programs, those can continue through the end of April.

DOC officials are working to determine which prison in the region will serve as the “home” facility for the 45 to 50 officers that are assigned to hospital transfers.

According to BCC Director George Little, parole violator returns to SCI Pittsburgh will be stopped.

Finally, DOC officials are working to develop plans to relocate the various special units. Those plans should be made available internally once finalized. DOC officials are working to relocate most of the units to prisons within the western region.
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This page was last updated on 06/14/2017.