JRI II parole reforms face uncertain future after recent murders by parolees

JRI II parole reforms face uncertain future after recent murders by parolees

Many state lawmakers hoped to move forward with reforms to Pennsylvania’s parole system this fall, but a recent spate of murders by parolees may slow passage of the second phase of the state’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative. 

The reforms, known colloquially as JRI II, are designed to reinvest more funding into county probation and parole programs from savings created by other portions of the legislation. However, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee now wants an independent investigation into Pennsylvania’s current parole processes before advancing the bills. 


Tuesday, August 20, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
VIDEO: Sen. Baker to update medical parole legislation in Pennsylvania

VIDEO: Sen. Baker to update medical parole legislation in Pennsylvania

Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) has been working with Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel to help Pennsylvania taxpayers save money by updating the medical parole system in Pennsylvania. 

Baker is working on introducing legislation that would let Pennsylvania’s Board of Probation and Parole grant medical parole to sick inmates after considering a number of factors such as risk to the public, inmates age, and criminal history.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019/Author: Kara Barmoy
Categories: Video
Lawmakers expect another effort to legislate merger between Corrections, Parole Board

Lawmakers expect another effort to legislate merger between Corrections, Parole Board

Lawmakers are expecting a renewed push to codify the consolidation of the Department of Corrections and Board of Probation and Parole after Corrections Secretary John Wetzel called for legislative action on the matter Thursday..

In 2017, Gov. Tom Wolf announced his administration would combine overlapping services in the two agencies, mainly focused on re-entry programs, that would be formalized in a memorandum of understanding signed by Wetzel and then-PBPP Chair Leo Dunn.
Thursday, February 28, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Department of Corrections ends system wide lockdown

Department of Corrections ends system wide lockdown

After 12 days the state prison system is no longer on lockdown.

Since August 29, Pennsylvania’s 24 prisons limited mail and visitors while revoking inmate privileges to deal with an outbreak of unknown illnesses to inmates and staffers.

From May 31 to September 1, more than 50 staff members and 33 inmates were taken to outside hospitals for treatment for exposure to illicit drugs. Subsequent tests showed synthetic drugs, including cannabinoids, as the cause in some of the situations.

Monday, September 10, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Wetzel talks prison lock down, K2 and more

Wetzel talks prison lock down, K2 and more

The PLS Reporter sat down with Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel on Thursday to talk about recent turmoil in state prisons thought to be connected to synthetic drugs.

Last Wednesday all correctional facilities in Pennsylvania were placed on an indefinite lock down after multiple staff fell sick due to an unknown substance.

Thursday, September 6, 2018/Author: Kara Barmoy
Categories: Video
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