The REFORM Alliance is thrilled with an important step forward for probation reform in Pennsylvania with the State Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 913.
For too long, the Commonwealth’s probation and parole systems have burdened individuals and families while providing too few avenues for a successful exit, even after years of supervision. SB 913 incentivizes success by permitting early termination for pro-social activities such as consistent employment, successful completion of degree or diploma programs, or technical or vocational training. It also crafts a new system of graduated sanctions for technical violations that protects public safety while reducing unnecessary and counterproductive incarceration. SB 913 will give persons involved in the criminal justice system new hope that they can put the past behind them and build a successful future, fully integrated into their families, communities, and the economy.
The legislation was led by Senator Lisa Baker (R-20th), Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46th), and Senator Anthony Williams (D-8th) and was passed by an overwhelming majority of the Senate, 46-4.
SB 913 is a testament to the reality that smart and effective criminal justice reform can and should be a bipartisan issue.
“The Senate’s passage of SB 913 today is a step forward for probation reform in Pennsylvania,” REFORM CEO Robert Rooks said. “This broadly supported and bipartisan legislation presents an enormous opportunity to reform a broken and overcrowded probation system that tears families apart and drains taxpayer dollars. We urge the House to move quickly and bring this much-needed legislation forward for a vote to support stronger and safer communities across the state.”