|Posted:||January 15, 2021 11:20 AM|
|From:||Representative Summer Lee|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Access to Social Workers for Incarcerated Persons|
|Currently, the Department of Corrections employs just 49 social workers to provide essential services to over 47,000 incarcerated individuals throughout Pennsylvania, roughly translating to a ratio of just one social worker for every 915 individuals.
Among the services that correctional social workers provide are mental health counseling, professional skills development, implementation of safety & wellness programs, and discharge planning, just to name a few. These essential services help provide incarcerated individuals with fundamental human needs and assists with their transition back into the general population. Providing these services helps reduce recidivism and encourages the notion that we live in a fair society.
This resolution would direct the Joint State Government Commission to study the current access to social workers within state correctional facilities and to recommend a target number or ratio for the most optimal number of social workers to incarcerated individuals. I believe that improving the ratio of social workers for correctional facilities will establish a standard of care while also reducing the financial costs that result from recidivism and lack of adequate health and wellbeing services.
Please join me in promoting ethical and commonsense measures to show that we as Pennsylvanians demand to live in a fairer and safer society.
Introduced as HR115