‘Tipping Point’: City Controller Calls on Philly to Hire Hundreds More Correctional Officers

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WHYY: Aaron Moselle - June 29, 2021


Citing a risk for more violence behind bars, Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart is urging Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration to add more staff to the city’s beleaguered jails — immediately.


Data analysis completed by Rhynhart’s office found the city’s prison population dipped roughly 4%, from 4,675 to 4,487 incarcerated people between FY19 and the second quarter of FY21.


During the same period, the number of correctional officers dropped 23%, from 1,942 to 1,502, creating a supervision gap that Rhynhart, union officials, and prison rights advocates say is dangerous and potentially lethal for staffers and prisoners alike.


The city’s safety guidelines call for the Philadelphia Department of Prisons to have 1,884 correctional officers on staff.


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