A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge has ordered a halt to the bidding process for a new project to expand and replace Graterford state prison in Montgomery County.
KYW’s Tony Romeo reports that the state is planning to build two new prisons side by side near the site of the old Graterford Prison (above).
The twin facilities would house 4,100 prisoners, while the current Graterford presently bulges over capacity with a population around 3,000.
But a Commonwealth Court judge has granted an injunction, saying that the state’s request for proposals on the project violates state law.
Governor Rendell had only a terse response to the ruling:
“It’s unfortunate because, A, we need the prison and B, we need the construction jobs.”
Pennsylvania’s prisons are so overcrowded that the state has moved some inmates to out-of-state facilities.
The judge says that although delaying construction may require that situation to continue longer, it will not increase costs to the state and more harm would result if the law were violated.