Taxpayers should be appalled

All taxpayers of Pennsylvania should be appalled that the yearly cost to house a prisoner in the state Department of Corrections is $42,727 ($168 a year per taxpayer) with the cost exceeding $100,000 for geriatric prisoners.

Pennsylvania already faces a projected budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year of at least $1.7 billion. A cost-saving measure to subvert the escalating prisoner costs is presently in the state House and Senate. House Bill 135 and Senate Bill 942 would eliminate life imprisonment without parole in Pennsylvania. If enacted, the law would authorize the Board of Pardons to carefully review and release qualifying prisoners to parole from life sentences.

With at least 5,000 prisoners serving life sentences in Pennsylvania (with 40 percent of them over the age of 50), the cost savings for the taxpayers would be substantial if qualified and deserving prisoners were released, since they too would become taxpayers and productive citizens of Pennsylvania.

Every taxpayer should support this fiscal and cost-saving measure that will benefit all taxpaying Pennsylvanians.

Gerald and Phyllis Minerd