Prison closure bill primed for amendments after House hearing

Prison closure bill primed for amendments after House hearing

Legislation to add procedures as to how public safety buildings are shuttered has worked its way through the General Assembly, and House State Government Committee focused on it at a hearing Monday.

SB 748, from Sen. David Argall (R-Schuykill), and its companion HB 1606 from Rep. Jeff Wheeland (R-Lycoming), would require 12-months’ written notice to local and state officials before a prison or state police building is closed down.

Monday, June 18, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Greenleaf bills to fund probation and parole enforcement through cuts to prison population move ahead

Greenleaf bills to fund probation and parole enforcement through cuts to prison population move ahead

Three bills meant to get low level criminals out of jail and use the cost savings for the state’s stressed parole and probation system passed the Senate unanimously this week.

SB 1070, 1071 and 1072, all sponsored by criminal justice crusader Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), were the second round of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) reforms, the first of which passed in 2012.

Friday, April 27, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
As Governor prepares to sign criminal justice bill, sights turn to future reform

As Governor prepares to sign criminal justice bill, sights turn to future reform

With one bill waiting for a signature, another waiting for tinkering in the Senate and Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery) on his side, Governor Tom Wolf announced his desire to push criminal justice reforms through the legislature Thursday.

The proposed agenda includes state funding for public defenders, building a standardized risk assessment tool for judges assigning bail and a “clean slate” law to help minor criminals clear their records and rejoin society.

Friday, April 13, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
The American Civil Liberties Union and Abolitionist Law Center suing Pennsylvania over solitary confinement practices in prisons

The American Civil Liberties Union and Abolitionist Law Center suing Pennsylvania over solitary confinement practices in prisons

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Abolitionist Law Center are suing Pennsylvania for placing prisoners who have life sentences in solitary confinement anywhere from 22 to 24 hours per day.


The class-action lawsuit alleges that this practice is unconstitutional violating the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Monday, February 5, 2018/Author: Taylor Allen
Categories: News and Views
Senate Judiciary Committee roundtable calls for more action on criminal justice reform in Pennsylvania

Senate Judiciary Committee roundtable calls for more action on criminal justice reform in Pennsylvania

At a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Tuesday, held just outside of some of Pittsburgh’s most crime ridden neighborhoods, a panel of state officials and activists talked about how Pennsylvania could reform the commonwealth’s criminal justice system. 

The meeting was the final of three — the first two taking place in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, all organized by Senate Judiciary Committee Majority Chairman Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery). Democratic Senators Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) and Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) also sat on the panel, held at Petra Ministries, a non-denominational church, in Penn Hills. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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