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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 22, 2019 11:44 AM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes
To: All Senate members
Subject: Expansion of Statewide Intermediate Punishment Program to include Gambling Addiction
In the near future, I will be re-introducing Senate Bill 121 from last session. This proposal expands access to the Commonwealth’s Statewide Intermediate Punishment (SIP) Program to individuals who have committed crimes due to gambling addiction. Last session, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously reported this bill from committee.

With the passage of Act 42 of 2017, gambling options across the Commonwealth have greatly increased and instances of gambling addiction are likely to rise. Currently, the program is open only to individuals who have committed crimes due to drug or alcohol addiction.

The stated purpose of the SIP program is to “create a program that punishes persons who commit crimes, but also provides treatment that offers the opportunity for those persons to address their drug or alcohol addiction or abuse and thereby reduce the incidents of recidivism and enhance public safety.” While drug and alcohol addictions often lead to criminal activities, the level of hopelessness and despair associated with gambling addiction can also fuel criminal conduct. Creating a treatment option may be a better approach to dealing with these types of offenders.

Previous cosponsors of this bill were: Brewster, Browne, Costa, Fontana, and Gordner.

I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this legislation. If you have any questions, please contact my Chief Counsel, Michael Deery, at 717-787-7112 or Michael.Deery@pasenate.com.

Introduced as SB193