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Prisoners Return To Pennsylvania As Capacity Increases

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(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – More than a thousand Pennsylvania prisoners being housed in Michigan facilities due to overcrowding are now back in the state, although another thousand or so who are being housed in Virginia will stay there for the time being.

The new state corrections secretary had previously announced plans to bring the Michigan inmates back to Pennsylvania. Corrections spokeswoman Susan McNaughton says the return of those prisoners began in late April and concluded this past week. But for now, about a thousand other prisoners being housed in Virginia will remain there.

“The secretary is monitoring the population,” McNaughton says. “We have opened some housing units, there are some other ones that are about ready to open, so over the next several months, we should see an increase a little bit. So it’s just something that we have to continue to monitor.”

In addition to the expanded capacity at existing state prisons, McNaughton says the inmate population has leveled off after a spike that followed a parole moratorium in 2008, although the system is still well above capacity. But McNaughton says Pennsylvania is not affected by a recent Supreme Court ruling on California’s overcrowded prisons.

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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