Wetzel removed from review of prison closure after comments draw outcry from NEPA lawmakers

Wetzel removed from review of prison closure after comments draw outcry from NEPA lawmakers

Corrections Secretary John Wetzel has been removed from the statutorily required review of SCI Retreat’s closure after offhand comments at a public hearing on the matter sparked a firestorm that involved three Democrats calling for him to be fired from his post.

J.J. Abbott, press secretary for Gov. Tom Wolf, confirmed that Wetzel will no longer be a part of the review process required under Act 133. In an effort to reboot the process, Wolf is also calling for additional public hearings to be held on the matter as part of a more thorough probe.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Special committee discusses incarcerated women

Special committee discusses incarcerated women

Activists, experts, and returning citizens joined the Philadelphia City Council’s Special Committee on Criminal Justice Reform Friday to promote better and more ethical practices for incarcerated women. 

The committee met following a resolution from council adopted in February to examine the conditions of women in prisons. The 2018 Annual Report from the Philadelphia Commission on Women noted the number of incarcerated women rose over 700 percent between 1980 and 2014. Statewide, the rate of women in prisons is growing drastically.
Monday, October 28, 2019/Author: Marco Cerino
Categories: Philadelphia
Philadelphia City Controller releases report on gun violence and property values

Philadelphia City Controller releases report on gun violence and property values

Flanked by state legislators and spiritual leaders, City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart (D) announced Wednesday a novel investigation into the financial cost of gun violence in Philadelphia.
 
Rhynhart’s office spent over a year investigating the effects homicides have on housing values throughout the city. The report came days after a two-year-old was killed and an 11-month-old was shot in separate incidents of gun violence.
Friday, October 25, 2019/Author: Marco Cerino
Categories: Philadelphia
Bipartisan effort to provide “dignity for incarcerated women” in the works

Bipartisan effort to provide “dignity for incarcerated women” in the works

After nearly two years of meetings, tours, and discussions, lawmakers seeking to improve conditions for women in state correctional facilities may be close to introducing an omnibus bill.  

The process started with 15 different bills proposed in early 2018. This fall, both chambers may see one bill with five key recommendations submitted. 
Friday, October 11, 2019/Author: Marco Cerino
Categories: News and Views
With legalization in doubt, Democrats eye expedited pardons for marijuana convictions

With legalization in doubt, Democrats eye expedited pardons for marijuana convictions

Last week, Republican leaders in the General Assembly were clear about their stance on legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania: it’s not happening anytime soon.

 

And while Democrats will likely continue to levy pressure on their GOP colleagues, one state board plans to act on its own to provide relief to those with weighed down by consequences from past marijuana convictions.

Monday, September 30, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
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