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

Commonsense Can Correct Corrections

  • Matthew Brouillette
  • May 22, 2012

Kyle, a convicted burglar sentenced to 1-3 years in Pennsylvania state prison, was granted parole in June 2011, but spent an extra 100 days in jail, not because he failed…

Commentary

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Criminal Justice Reform

Real Corrections Reform, Right Now

  • May 14, 2012

Albert Einstein is said to have remarked that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We the undersigned submit that unfortunately,…

Poll

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Criminal Justice Reform

Correcting Corrections Correctly

  • May 8, 2012

Over the last 30 years, Pennsylvania’s incarceration rate has increased by 500 percent and corrections spending has skyrocketed 1,700 percent. The unprecedented prison population growth at unsustainable costs…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

HOPE for PA Corrections Reform

  • May 4, 2012

Launched in 2004, Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) is an innovative supervision strategy that provides swift, predictable sanctions on substance-abusing probationers. Research shows the program has reduced probationers’ positive…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Unprecedented Prison Population Growth

  • April 24, 2012

This is the first installment in a three-part series that will look at Pennsylvania’s correctional system, public policies that have worked in other states, and provide a blueprint to bring…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Does School Choice Reduce Crime?

  • Nathan Benefield
  • March 22, 2012

Yesterday, Charles noted a key Wall Street Journal piece on a Council of Foreign Relations report. That report concluded that educational failure is dangerous for our national security and…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Saving Rather than Spending in Corrections

  • March 14, 2012

Last week, PCN’s Call In Program featured a great discussion with PA Corrections Sec. John Wetzel. The Secretary is committed to both saving money and improving safety by making sure…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Chart of the Day: Corrections Spending

  • March 12, 2012

Today’s chart highlights the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ skyrocketing spending since 1980. This unsustainable growth is part of the four-alarm fire that threatens Pennsylvania’s fiscal house. For more…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Nurses’ Union Opposes Corrections Reform

  • March 7, 2012

At yesterday’s House Appropriations Committee, Department of Corrections Sec. John Wetzel explained his roadmap to reducing corrections spending, now the third-largest department in the General Fund Budget. What was…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Sec. John Wetzel Talks Corrections Reforms on The BOX

  • February 22, 2012

In latest podcast from The BOX, Corrections Secretary John Wetzel chats with Matt Brouillette about reducing the cost of corrections – a major expenditure in the Pennsylvania state budget…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Pennsylvania Corrections Spending

  • February 14, 2012

The FY 2011-12 total operating budget of $63.4 billion, which included $27.1 billion in General Fund spending, represented the first year-to-year reduction in state spending in at least 40 years.

Fact Sheet

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Criminal Justice Reform

Government Union Jeopardizes Criminal Justice Reform

  • February 10, 2012

As Pennsylvania takes a hard look at reforming its criminal justice system, prepare for the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association’s fear-mongering campaign against reducing prison populations. The officers’ union opposition…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Is State Corrections Spending Sustainable?

  • February 2, 2012

The chart below shows the unsustainable growth in Pennsylvania state corrections spending and inmate population. The criminal justice system’s goal shouldn’t be to simply lock up as many people…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice Reforms to Reduce Spending & Crime

  • February 1, 2012

Change is on the horizon for Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections – now the third-largest state agency in the General Fund budget – which along with state debt, pensions…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Fiscal Outlook for Pennsylvania: Not Too Rosy

  • Nathan Benefield
  • January 20, 2012

This week the new Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office held its first annual seminar on the state economy and revenue. After a series of presentations on the state of the…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Corrections Reform: Another Sacred Cow?

  • January 20, 2012

Our friends at Reason.org have called out Pennsylvania lawmakers’ opposition to prison healthcare reform, calling it yet another public sector union sacred cow. At issue is House…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Time for Pennsylvania to Get Right on Crime

  • January 17, 2012

Last week on NPR, former U.S. Attorney General and Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh joined Adam Gelb, director for Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project, to discuss criminal justice…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Prisoners Cost Less in Michigan than in Pennsylvania

  • March 28, 2011

Last week, Gov. Tom Corbett announced that more than 2,000 inmates previously housed in Michigan and Virginia are returning to Pennsylvania prisons. The problem is that it’s cheaper…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Pennsylvania Prison Postponed, Pork Prolonged

  • February 18, 2011

Yesterday, Gov. Corbett cancelled a planned prison construction project in Fayette County, estimated to cost taxpayers $200 million. In January, Auditor General Wagner called for a halt on…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice Reform Needed

  • January 31, 2011

Auditor General Wagner has warned the Governor and state legislators to begin using alternative-sentencing instead of long-term prison sentences for non-violent offenders, in order to control the ballooning prison…

Media

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Criminal Justice Reform

New PA Task Force on Prison Spending

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 19, 2010

Following testimony that inmates might riot if the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections didn’t a funding increase, the state House Appropriations Committee decided to create a task force to…

Media

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