PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The city of Philadelphia has announced plans to close the oldest operating jail in the city.
The mayor and prisons commissioner said Wednesday the House of Corrections will be closed by 2020. A spokeswoman says efforts have begun to reduce the population of the jail, which has about 220 inmates, and that the process may be completed as soon as this fall.
The prison department's website says the original House of Correction opened in 1874 and was razed in 1925. Materials from the original building were used in the construction of a replacement which opened in 1927. There are 666 cells for minimum- to medium-security inmates.
Officials say the closing is possible because the overall incarcerated population has been reduced by 32 percent since July 2015 with officials crediting a $3.5 million MacArthur Foundation grant.
Mayor Jim Kenney said his office is committed to having a safer, less incarcerated city.
He said, "We are committed to equity and we are committed to fairness, and we are committed to changing the narrative about how people are viewed, and people are treated in this city.
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