Scutari Calls For Review Of Prison Closing

TRENTON – Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) today asked the state Treasurer’s office for additional information regarding the closing and proposed demolition of Riverfront State Prison in Camden.

Riverfront, a medium-security facility that was opened in 1985, is the state’s third-newest prison. Scutari questioned the wisdom of closing the facility and demolishing it to make way for development along the Camden waterfront.

“While I understand that there are leaders within the City of Camden who have long objected to the placement of a prison at this location, I see a serious error in the logic to knock down a relatively new State prison while keeping open facilities that are much older and more difficult to maintain,” said Sen. Scutari, who is chairman of the Senate State Government Committee and the State Leasing and Space Utilization Committee.

Sen. Scutari asked the state Treasurer for information on the debt service schedule on the bonds that were used to build the prison. He said it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars to raze the prison long before the projected end of its useful life.

He said he learned, through media reports, that the process to award a demolition contract for the prison is already underway.

“I also respectfully request that you cancel this procurement process until I have had time to review and evaluate the Administration’s plans,” Sen. Scutari said.