Philadelphia to close city's oldest operating jail

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The city of Philadelphia has announced plans to close the oldest operating jail in the city.

The mayor and prisons commissioner said the House of Corrections is to be closed by 2020. A spokeswoman said efforts have begun to reduce the population of the jail, which has only about 220 inmates, and that process may be completed as soon as this fall.

The prison department's website says the original House of Correction opened in 1874 but was razed in 1925, but materials from the original were used in construction of the current building, which opened in 1927.  There are 666 cells for minimum- to medium-security inmates.

Officials said the closure is possible because the overall incarcerated population has been reduced by 32 percent since July 2015.

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