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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 14, 2019 03:54 PM
From: Representative Donna Bullock
To: All House members
Subject: State ID Cards for Released Inmates
A valid form of state identification is crucial to everyday life. Released inmates, however, often must overcome a series of hurdles when procuring a state photo identification card that is vital to helping them make a successful reentry into the community. In some cases, the individual may not have had a card previously, while in others the card was lost during the criminal justice process or expired prior to the individual’s release. Regardless of the circumstances, there are obstacles that can make it difficult for an ex-offender to obtain a new ID card. For example, they may lack documents such as birth certificates that are necessary to obtain identification, may find the cost of obtaining new or replacement documents expensive, or may be faced with long processing periods even if they can afford replacements.

Without proper identification, it is difficult for rehabilitated persons to secure a job, housing or other benefits. To help lessen the burden facing ex-offenders, I am introducing legislation that would require the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to accept an official Inmate Photo ID card from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections or the Federal Bureau of Prisons as proof of the identity and date of birth for all released inmates.

My legislation is a simple step we can take to ease the transition for released inmates from prison back into the community, and will help individuals avoid reoffending. By making these official documents more accessible for released inmates, we will afford them the same standard of benefits that all other citizens experience.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation in order to create a more just Commonwealth where released prisoners are not systematically disenfranchised after they have served their time.

Introduced as HB354