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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2014 01:43 PM
From: Senator John R. Gordner
To: All Senate members
Subject: Title 42 Amendment
Recently in my Senatorial District, it was discovered that a county Office of Probation and Parole was allowing defendants who were sentenced to community service to "purchase" credit towards that service by giving gift cards to the Office. The plan was for the Office to then donate the gift cards to local community service groups. However, over $4,000 in gift cards were then found in a safe in the Office of Probation and Parole. Upon this discovery, the county's President Judge ordered a halt to the practice, which was begun under his predecessor.

The previous President Judge approved the program after he determined there is nothing in Title 42, the Judicial Code, which prohibits the practice. Unfortunately, that conclusion is correct.

I will be re-introducing Senate Bill 1367 of the 2013-2014 session to specifically prohibit the practice of allowing those sentenced to community service from purchasing credit towards that service in any form, including gift cards, cash or other forms of remuneration. This legislation was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was approved by the Senate on October 6, 2014, by a vote of 49-0.

I invite your co-sponsorship of this legislation. Please contact my office with any questions.

Introduced as SB130