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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 18, 2019 02:28 PM
From: Representative Morgan Cephas
To: All House members
Subject: Dignity for Incarcerated Women: PCCD Committee
With more than 200,000 women and girls incarcerated in the United States, the female prison population has increased more than 700 percent since 1980. The impact of the criminal justice system can be profound for female offenders, and cause stress for the woman and her children. An analysis by the Center for American Progress found that the cumulative stress endured by African-American women who come into contact with the criminal justice system has contributed to a 15 percent gap in infant mortality rates between white women and women of color.

My legislation would require the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) to create a new committee focused specifically on issues affecting females. The Women and Girls Committee would be made up of representatives from PCCD’s other standing committees and subcommittees that touch on issues confronting female offenders and those who may be at risk of becoming system-involved. This new committee would create a way for policy makers to bring research, data, observations and policy changes that arise in their narrow areas together to craft a comprehensive plan that addresses issues specific to women and girls, and would also improve preventative efforts to keep girls out of the system both before and after re-entry.

It is our duty as legislators to fight for the rights of our incarcerated constituents, and through our concentrated effort and support, I believe that we will be able to continue to protect the dignity of our incarcerated women and girls with this legislation

Introduced as HB1011