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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 2, 2019 02:25 PM
From: Senator Patrick M. Browne
To: All Senate members
Subject: Consolidation of the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole
I intend to reintroduce Senate Bills 522 and 523 of last session to consolidate the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole. Cosponsors of the legislation last session were Senators Argall, Mensch, Yudichak and Folmer.

The statutory consolidation of these agencies will accomplish cost savings and increased efficiencies in the operations of our state prisons and parole services. Some consolidation has occurred but without enactment of the legislation additional efficiencies cannot be realized. Given how much the operations of the Department of Corrections and Pennsylvania Board of Probation overlap, it makes sense to consolidate their responsibilities while continuing to allow the Board to make independent decisions on parole.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 522 by a vote of 38-12, and Senate Bill 523 by a vote of 48-2. Please join me in sponsoring these bills.

Document #1

Introduced as SB714

This bill (formerly SB 522) will amend the consolidated provisions of Title 42 and Title 61.  The Department of Corrections will be authorized to create parole violator centers to expand its ability to work with parolees during the reentry process.  State parole agents will be appointed and supervised by the Department, but the Parole Board will continue to have the authority to establish the conditions of parole.  State parole agents will be required to receive training in social work, criminology, psychology, psychiatry, and criminal justice.

Document #2

Introduced as SB715

Description: This bill (formerly SB 523) will amend the unconsolidated Crime Victims Act to make technical changes.  The Office of Victim Advocate will be housed within the Department of Corrections.  The bill makes no substantive changes to the Crime Victims Act.