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CORRECTIVE REPRINT
A03785
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1678
Session of
2023
INTRODUCED BY N. NELSON, MIHALEK, FREEMAN, MADDEN, KAZEEM,
SANCHEZ, KHAN, PARKER, HILL-EVANS, BOROWSKI, CEPEDA-FREYTIZ,
KRAJEWSKI AND KUZMA, SEPTEMBER 13, 2023
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2023
AN ACT
Amending Titles 61 (Prisons and Parole) and 63 (Professions and
Occupations (State Licensed)) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in general administration, providing
for earned vocational training and education credit; in
recidivism risk reduction incentive, further providing for
recidivism risk reduction incentive minimum; in Pennsylvania
Board of Probation and Parole, further providing for parole
power and for short sentence parole; and, in powers and
duties, further providing for consideration of criminal
convictions.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Chapter 11 of Title 61 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a subchapter to read:
SUBCHAPTER E
EARNED VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND EDUCATION CREDIT
Sec.
1181. Scope and purpose of subchapter.
1182. Earned vocational training and education credit.
1183. Rules and regulations.
§ 1181. Scope and purpose of subchapter.
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This subchapter relates to earned vocational training and
education credits. This subchapter seeks to encourage inmate
participation and completion of inmate vocational training and
education programs for the purposes of improving public safety
outcomes.
§ 1182. Earned vocational training and education credit.
(a) Training and credit.--Except as provided under this
section, an inmate sentenced on or after the effective date of
this section and incarcerated under the supervision of the
department shall earn vocational training and education credit
toward sentence reduction according to the following schedule:
(1) 10 days per month for regular participation in any
inmate education or vocational training services provided by
the Bureau of Correction Education up to an amount not to
exceed 90 days per program.
(2) 90 days for completing a vocational education
program.
(3) 90 days for attaining a general education
development (GED).
(4) 120 days for attaining a high school diploma.
(5) 180 days for attaining a degree from an institution
of higher education.
(b) Limitation.--An inmate may not earn vocational training
and education credits under subsection (a) in excess of one-
fourth of the inmate's minimum sentence and shall only receive
such credit on completion of programming required by the
department .
(c) Exclusions.--An inmate sentenced for a conviction under
any of the following may not earn vocational training and
education credits under subsection (a):
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(1) 18 Pa.C.S. § 2502 (relating to murder).
(2) 18 Pa.C.S. § 3011(b) (relating to trafficking in
individuals).
(3) 18 Pa.C.S. § 3012 (relating to involuntary
servitude).
(4) 18 Pa.C.S. § 3121 (relating to rape).
(5) 18 Pa.C.S. § 3122.1(b) (relating to statutory sexual
assault).
(6) 18 Pa.C.S. § 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate
sexual intercourse).
(7) 18 Pa.C.S. § 3125(b) (relating to aggravated
indecent assault).
(8) A crime subject to a mandatory term of imprisonment
under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9717 (relating to sentence for offenses
against elderly persons), 9718 (relating to sentences for
offenses against infant persons) or 9718.1 (relating to
sexual offender treatment).
(d) Parole.--The board may exercise its power to parole an
inmate at the expiration of the minimum term of imprisonment
fixed by the court sentence less any earned vocational training
and education credits as provided under this subchapter.
§ 1183. Rules and regulations.
The department and board may promulgate rules and regulations
as deemed necessary to implement and administer this subchapter.
Section 2. Section 4506 of Title 61 is amended by adding a
subsection to read:
§ 4506. Recidivism risk reduction incentive minimum.
* * *
(e) Effect of earned education credits.--If an inmate, who
has been sentenced to a recidivism risk reduction incentive
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minimum sentence, has earned vocational training and education
credits under Subchapter E of Chapter 11 (relating to earned
vocational training and education credit) and, at the expiration
of that recidivism risk reduction incentive minimum sentence,
less any earned vocational training and education credits, has
met the requirements in subsection (a), the board or a designee
shall issue a decision to parole, without further review by the
board, at that date.
Section 3 2. Sections 6137(a)(3) and (3.1)(i) and (g)(2),
(2.1), (4) introductory paragraph and (5) and 6137.1(b) of Title
61 are amended to read:
§ 6137. Parole power.
(a) General criteria for parole.--
* * *
(3) The power to parole granted under this section to
the board may not be exercised in the board's discretion at
any time before, but only after, the expiration of the
minimum term of imprisonment fixed by the court in its
sentence, less any vocational training and education credits
under Subchapter E of Chapter 11 (relating to earned
vocational training and education credit), or by the Board of
Pardons in a sentence which has been reduced by commutation.
(3.1) (i) Following the expiration of the offender's
minimum term of imprisonment, less any vocational
training and education credits under Subchapter E of
Chapter 11, if the primary reason for not paroling the
offender is the offender's inability to access and
complete prescribed programming within the correctional
institution, the board may release the offender on parole
with the condition that the offender complete the
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prescribed programming while on parole.
* * *
(g) Procedures for Recidivism Risk Reduction Incentive.--
* * *
(2) Upon identification of an inmate as an eligible
offender, as defined under section 4503 (relating to
definitions), the department shall send notice to the board.
The board shall send notice to the prosecuting attorney and
the court no less than six months before the expiration of
the offender's minimum sentence or the inmate's minimum
sentence less any vocational training and educational credits
under Subchapter E of Chapter 11, whichever occurs first,
indicating that the department has preliminarily identified
the offender as an eligible offender. The notice shall be
sent by United States mail unless the board, the court and
the prosecutor have consented to receipt of notice via
electronic means. For offenders committed to the department
whose expiration of the minimum sentence is six months or
less from the date of admission, the department shall give
prompt notice.
(2.1) The department shall provide the board all
information related to the offender's adjustment while
incarcerated, misconducts, if any, information related to
programming and treatment, including success, completion or
failure to complete, any vocational training and education
credit earned under Subchapter E of Chapter 11, or any other
information the department deems relevant. The board shall
send such information to the prosecuting attorney and to the
court no less than six months before the expiration of the
offender's minimum sentence. The notice may be sent
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electronically. For offenders committed to the department
whose expiration of the minimum sentence is six months or
less from the date of admission, such information shall be
sent at the same time prompt notice under paragraph (2) is
given.
* * *
(4) If no notice of objection has been filed under
paragraph (3), the eligible offender shall be paroled at the
minimum date, or the minimum date less any vocational
training and education credits under Subchapter E of Chapter
11, whichever occurs first, upon a determination by the board
or the board's designee that all of the following apply:
* * *
(5) If the court or prosecuting attorney files a timely
objection under paragraph (3), the board shall make a
determination as to whether the offender is an eligible
offender. The board shall notify the department, prosecuting
attorney and court of its determination no later than 30 days
prior to the minimum parole date[.] or a minimum parole date
less any earned vocational training and education credits
under Subchapter E of Chapter 11, whichever occurs first. If
the board determines that the offender is an eligible
offender under this chapter, the board shall follow the
provisions under paragraph (4). If the board determines that
the offender is not an eligible offender under section 4503
(relating to definitions), the board shall retain exclusive
jurisdiction to grant parole and shall determine whether the
offender should be paroled at the minimum date, less any
earned vocational training and education credits under
Subchapter E of Chapter 11, paroled at a later date or denied
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parole.
* * *
§ 6137.1. Short sentence parole.
* * *
(b) Approval of parole.--The board shall, without requiring
an interview, approve for parole a person eligible for short
sentence parole under this section at the expiration of the
person's minimum date or recidivism risk reduction incentive
minimum date, less any earned vocational training and education
credits under Subchapter E of Chapter 11 (relating to earned
vocational training and education credit), whichever is shorter.
If the person was committed to the department after expiration
of the person's minimum date, the board shall approve the person
for parole within 30 days after commitment to the department.
* * *
Section 4 3. Section 3113(c)(6) and (e)(1) of Title 63 are
amended to read:
§ 3113. Consideration of criminal convictions.
* * *
(c) Individualized assessment.--A licensing board or
licensing commission shall conduct an individualized assessment
of the individual with respect to criminal convictions and
rehabilitation. The licensing board or licensing commission
shall only consider the following factors in order to determine
whether the individual meets the requirements for issuance of a
license, certificate, registration or permit under subsection
(b)(1) or (b)(2):
* * *
(6) Successful completion of education and training
activities, including those in a county correctional facility
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or the Department of Corrections or an earned vocational
training and education credit, if applicable.
* * *
(e) Crimes of violence.--An individual convicted of a crime
of violence as defined in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9714 (relating to
sentences for second and subsequent offenses) may be granted a
license, registration, certificate or permit by a licensing
board or licensing commission if all of the following apply:
(1) If the individual was incarcerated, at least three
years have elapsed since release from incarceration. The
period of three years shall be tolled for a violation of
parole. The period of three years under this paragraph shall
be reduced by a period of time equal to any vocational
training and education credits under 61 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11 Subch.
E (relating to earned vocational training and education
credit).
* * *
Section 5 4. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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