|February 19, 2021 01:39 PM
|Senator Patrick M. Browne
|All Senate members
|Consolidation of the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole
|I intend to reintroduce Senate Bill 968 of last session to consolidate the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole. Cosponsors of the legislation last session were Senators Martin, Yaw, Mensch, Yudichak and Argall.
This bill 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. Also, the legislation transfers the Board of Pardons to Title 61 by adding a new Chapter 73. The Board of Pardons will remain independent, and the Department will provide facilities, administrative support, and other assistance upon request.
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.
Last session, the Senate passed Senate Bill 968 by a vote of 49-1.
I hope that you will join me in cosponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as SB411