A prison has been proposed in the Southwest Philadelphia area. The facility would be a 400-bed re-entry program. It has been opposed by many people in the neighborhood. Many fliers have been handed out and protests have been scheduled. The proposed prison would be located at 5213 Grays Ave.
The Southwest Community Development Corp. has been part of many of the meetings and petitions. Seth Dorrell, the deputy
executive director of the Southwest CDC, says the organization supports the community. He says the CDC has gotten over 2,500 signatures petitioning what has been proposed. “We cannot deem it a fit project that the community is behind,” says Dorrell.
The project would fulfill a vacant spot that has not had anything there for over five years. However, according to Dorrell, the project tried to sneak the entire thing past any community input and that is what started the uproar among residents. Meetings were held last year when the project was announced and hundreds of people attended. Most of them were not in support of the proposed prison.
“I haven’t seen that kind of turn out for anything, for or against, in a long time,” comments Dorrell.
Protests have been scheduled in the coming days. The zoning board is not allowing anymore public input.