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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 1, 2018 09:26 AM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Limiting Confinement for Probation Violations
Act 22 of 2012 made extensive changes to our state prison and parole systems. The act included limitations on periods of confinement for state parolees who violated specified terms of their parole other than the commission of a new offense. Act 22 resulted from the efforts of a bipartisan and interbranch working group of participants in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. The working group based the changes to our state prison and parole system on a growing body of evidence showing that long-term outcomes for criminal offenders improve significantly to the extent that offenders are supervised in the community instead of in prison, especially when offenders have a history of addiction or substance abuse.

Although Act 22 authorized courts to establish programs for the management of drug offenders on county probation, the act did not impose a limitation on periods of confinement for county probationers who violated specified terms of their probation. I will soon introduce a bill to limit the period of confinement for probation violations to six months, as the General Assembly did with regard to state parole violations. This bill will address only technical violations of the conditions imposed on county probationers, and will not limit periods of confinement for new offenses committed while the offender is on probation.

Please join me in sponsoring this bill to prevent the arbitrary and excessive use of confinement for probationers and to ensure better long-term outcomes for these offenders.

Introduced as SB1083