Pennsylvania’s Justice Reinvestment Initiatives of 2012 and 2019 successfully reduced the state’s prison population while maintaining community safety. But our work is far from over. With a state recidivism rate of 41 percent, now is the time for reforms that promote reintegration into society and enable the criminal justice system to focus its resources where it counts. Pennsylvania can continue to lead the nation in powerful criminal justice reforms that preserve public safety, save taxpayer resources, and promote true rehabilitation.

Criminal Justice Reform

Protect Property Owners from Unreasonable Forfeiture

  • Matthew Brouillette
  • November 4, 2015

Our justice system is supposed to presume innocence until guilt is proven, but every year, Pennsylvanians are stripped of about $14 million on allegations that their property was involved in…

Commentary

Read More: Protect Property Owners from Unreasonable Forfeiture

Criminal Justice Reform

Audio: Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

  • Jonathan Reginella
  • October 22, 2015

In Pennsylvania, civil asset forfeiture laws allow law enforcement agents to legally seize property without convicting an individual of a crime. These laws turn justice on its head, allowing police…

Media

Read More: Audio: Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

Criminal Justice Reform

The Jury is In: Corrections Reform is Working

  • May 8, 2015

Remember the time lawmakers from both parties came together in Harrisburg and unanimously passed important, groundbreaking reform legislation? It’s not a joke. It happened in 2012. As a result of…

Media

Read More: The Jury is In: Corrections Reform is Working

Criminal Justice Reform

Pennsylvania State Budget Toolkit

  • February 6, 2015

The enacted $29 billion General Fund budget (a 1.88 percent increase over 2013-2014) and $71.4 billion total operating budget represent Pennsylvania’s highest spending levels ever—exceeding years when federal stimulus dollars…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Pennsylvania State Budget Toolkit

Criminal Justice Reform

Corrections Reform Proves a Win-Win

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • January 23, 2015

Unprecedented reductions in the prison population, $69.9 million in taxpayer savings, and lower recidivism rates all indicate that the 2012 corrections reforms are working. Earlier this month Don Gilliland over…

Media

Read More: Corrections Reform Proves a Win-Win

Criminal Justice Reform

Obama Learns from Pa. on Corrections Reform

  • Nathan Benefield
  • August 13, 2013

Criminal justice policy that offers less spending, lower crime and improved outcomes for offenders—too good to be true? Actually, that is the result of recent corrections reforms in…

Media

Read More: Obama Learns from Pa. on Corrections Reform

Criminal Justice Reform

Milestone Corrections Reform Offers Taxpayer Savings

  • January 9, 2013

On the heels of Pennsylvania’s historic decline in prison population—the largest one-year decline in four decades—the Department of Corrections announced today the imminent closure of two older prisons.

Media

Read More: Milestone Corrections Reform Offers Taxpayer Savings

Criminal Justice Reform

Three of Four Alarms Still Ringing

  • Nathan Benefield
  • December 3, 2012

Late last month, the Independent Fiscal Office released its annual report looking at Pennsylvania’s economy and forecasting state budget expenditures and revenues. The trends remain alarming. Most notably, state…

Media

Read More: Three of Four Alarms Still Ringing

Criminal Justice Reform

Pennsylvania Gets Landmark Corrections Reform

  • October 18, 2012

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania passed the final piece, House Bill 135, of a landmark corrections reform package that transforms our ailing prison system to one that works better for YOU. Commonwealth Foundation…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Corrections Home Run for Gov. Corbett?

  • October 10, 2012

Under Gov. Tom Corbett’s leadership, Pennsylvania unanimously passed (Senate Bill 100) part of a landmark corrections reform package last session. SB 100, now Act 122 of 2012, aims to…

Media

Read More: Corrections Home Run for Gov. Corbett?

Criminal Justice Reform

Don’t Fire Arrows without Arrowheads in Corrections Reform

  • July 24, 2012

Reforming our state corrections system is not being soft on crime—it is being smart on crime.  To achieve transformative corrections reform, lawmakers should finish this critical legislative package and build…

Commentary

Read More: Don’t Fire Arrows without Arrowheads in Corrections Reform

Criminal Justice Reform

Pennsylvania Passes Proven Prison Reform

  • June 29, 2012

Pennsylvania's inmate population and rate of recidivism have reached crisis levels in recent years.  Since 1980, Pennsylvania's inmate population increased over 500% between 1980 and 2009. …

Commentary

Read More: Pennsylvania Passes Proven Prison Reform

Criminal Justice Reform

Pennsylvania Passes Landmark Corrections Reform

  • June 28, 2012

On Monday, Pennsylvania passed landmark legislation to replace decades of ineffective and expensive corrections policies with reforms that make our communities safer and save taxpayers money.   Commonwealth Foundation thanks…

Media

Read More: Pennsylvania Passes Landmark Corrections Reform

Criminal Justice Reform

Corrections Reform: Don’t Fire Arrows Without Arrowheads

  • June 22, 2012

The Justice Reinvestment Initiative, commissioned by Gov. Tom Corbett and led by national corrections reform experts, generated broad bipartisan support for a reform package that will: Make the…

Media

Read More: Corrections Reform: Don’t Fire Arrows Without Arrowheads

Criminal Justice Reform

Pennsylvania’s Blueprint for Better Public Safety

  • June 12, 2012

As Pennsylvania confronts another tight budget, Governor Corbett and legislative leaders must address the skyrocketing costs of prisons. Obviously, there are dangerous people who should be locked up to protect…

Commentary

Read More: Pennsylvania’s Blueprint for Better Public Safety

Criminal Justice Reform

You Can Spend Less, Get More with Real Corrections Reform

  • Matthew Brouillette
  • June 11, 2012

What is it they say about things that are out of sight?  Oh, yes, out of mind.  That might be one of the reasons why our corrections system has become…

Media

Read More: You Can Spend Less, Get More with Real Corrections Reform

Criminal Justice Reform

Unlocking Corrections Reform: A Summary of SB 100

  • June 8, 2012

A Look at Senate Bill 100 SB 100 incorporates evidence-based reforms to make the state’s corrections system more efficient by keeping low-risk cases out of prison in favor of…

Media

Read More: Unlocking Corrections Reform: A Summary of SB 100

Criminal Justice Reform

Committee Advances Real Corrections Reform

  • June 5, 2012

Policymakers moved one step closer to replacing Pennsylvania’s ineffective corrections policies with those that lower crime rates, reduce re-offending, and control spending. During today’s House Judiciary committee, Rep. Glen Grell…

Media

Read More: Committee Advances Real Corrections Reform

Criminal Justice Reform

How YOU Benefit if Lawmakers Act on Corrections

  • May 29, 2012

Correcting the commonwealth’s criminal justice system is urgent. This is why Gov. Tom Corbett made it clear that he wants to see reform legislation on his desk by June…

Media

Read More: How YOU Benefit if Lawmakers Act on Corrections

Criminal Justice Reform

Gov. Corbett Is Right: Real Corrections Reform, Right Now

  • Matthew Brouillette
  • May 23, 2012

We here at CF are proud to be part, along with Gov. George M. Leader, his family, and many others, of a transpartisan coalition favoring “real corrections reform, right…

Media

Read More: Gov. Corbett Is Right: Real Corrections Reform, Right Now

Criminal Justice Reform

Corrections Coalition, Dynamic Duo Dandy Says Patriot

  • May 22, 2012

Hats off to the Patriot-News Editorial Board for calling for an end to the status quo approach to criminal justice that has failed Pennsylvanians. Today’s editorial highlights the dynamic…

Media

Read More: Corrections Coalition, Dynamic Duo Dandy Says Patriot