GREENSBURG (KDKA) — A busload of more than 40 prison employees and their families went to Harrisburg Tuesday for a hearing regarding the closing of SCI Greensburg.

The prison is one of two, along with SCI Cresson, that are slated to close by the end of June in a cost-cutting measure by the state.

The closing prisons will be replaced by SCI Benner in Centre County, which is expected to save $20 million.

About 400 people work at SCI Greensburg. Some may get jobs at other local prisons, but most will be forced to relocate if they want to continue their employment with the state.

Many were blindsided earlier this month by the announcement to close the prisons.

“The notification of employees was terrible,” Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said. “Listen, the one think I agree with everybody out there is that I did a terrible job of notifying employees.”

State Sen. Kim Ward led the charge for the hearing. The secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections was expected to testify.

The big issues expected to be discussed are why no advance notice was given and also whether SCI Greensburg was more costly to operate than other prisons.

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