HARRISBURG – The Senate passed legislation today that would reform Pennsylvania’s probation system to give people a better pathway out of the criminal justice system, according to Sen. Pennycuick.
“Probation is supposed to give offenders a chance to get back on the straight path while giving taxpayers a break from the heavy cost of incarcerating prisoners,” Pennycuick said. “Too often, however, it feeds the cycle of probation to prison, which doesn’t serve individuals or taxpayers. This measure will go a long way toward making probation work the way it was supposed to.”
Senate Bill 838 would establish a mandatory probation review conference for probationers, providing criteria for when they occur and a presumption that probation will be terminated unless the individual does not qualify.
It would also permit the review conference to occur earlier based on the good conduct of defendants by achieving certain educational, employment or other goals. A provision to allow for the waiving of the mandatory review conference in cases where all stakeholders agree it is unnecessary is also included.
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
CONTACT: Lidia DiFiore