Gov. Wolf: Pennsylvania Reduced Prison Population by Record-Setting 3,471 since March 1

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter June 22, 2020 Criminal Justice Reform,  Press Release,  Prison Reform Governor Tom Wolf announced today that since March 1, the population of those in state correctional facilities has been reduced by 3,471 individuals, the largest multiple-month decrease ever experienced by the Department of Corrections and one that likely helped the department reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in facilities.“When COVID-19 arrived, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections met the challenge of keeping the general public safe while protecting its inmate population from this easily transmissible disease,” Gov. Wolf said. “The department has been successful at keeping COVID-19 from spreading widely in the congregate settings of correctional facilities.”In the three-plus months since COVID-19 was first identified in Pennsylvania, less than 1 percent of the state prison population has tested positive. Ultimately, the inmates inside state correctional institutions have proven so far to be more secure from COVID-19 than the general population, where the mortality rate is 90% higher than it is in the state’s correctional facilities as of today.The population reduction includes furloughing paroled individuals from centers to home plans; working with the parole board to maximize parole releases; reviewing parole detainers for those in county jails and state prisons; expediting the release process for anyone with a pending approved home plan; reviewing and releasing inmates who are beyond their minimum sentences; and implementing the temporary reprieve program that has allowed Gov. Wolf to issue reprieves to 159 inmates during the pandemic.These releases are in addition to preexisting criminal justice reform efforts that have reduced Pennsylvania’s prison population from 48,881 inmates when Gov. Wolf entered office at the beginning of January 2015 to 41,738 inmates today. That 7,143 decrease in population in under five years has allowed the state to reduce taxpayer costs by closing facilities while enabling more Pennsylvanians to resume their lives – all without an increase in the state’s crime rate.“The Department of Corrections takes pride in its ability to keep inmates safe and will continue to prioritize health and wellness during the COVID-19 crisis,” DOC Sec. John Wetzel said. “We will continue to seek improvements in our criminal justice system that minimizes the number of incarcerated individuals while providing the highest degree of safety to every Pennsylvanian.”Pennsylvania has taken a bipartisan approach to criminal justice reform and in recent years has:Passed Justice Reinvestment 2 addressing the high cost of incarceration in the state, strengthening support for county probation programs and fixing inadequate sentencing guidelines, and reforming the post-trial criminal justice system.Created a Fair-Chance hiring policy for state agencies that removes the criminal conviction question, otherwise known as “banning the box,” from non-civil service employment applications for agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction.Signed the “Clean Slate” bill, the first of its kind in the nation, to help those who have committed low-level offenses and have paid their penalty get back on the path to a blemish-free record, removing potential roadblocks to jobs, housing, health care, and education.Signed Act 95 of 2018, eliminating driver’s license suspensions for non-driving infractions.Signed Act 146 of 2018, extending the time a convicted individual has to file a post-conviction relief action to one year, from what was 60 days under current law.Signed Act 147 of 2018, updating Pennsylvania’s DNA testing law to reflect significant advances in technology and the lessons learned by criminal justice professionals since 2002. The legislation removes the supervision requirement that only people serving a sentence can apply for DNA testing.Signed Act 148 of 2018, a victim protection bill regarding housing options and emergency transfers.Find more information on Pennsylvania’s response to COVID-19.Find more information on Gov. Wolf’s Process to Reopen PA.Ver esta página en español.center_img Gov. Wolf: Pennsylvania Reduced Prison Population by Record-Setting 3,471 since March 1last_img read more

Lance Armstrong ends fight against doping charges

first_imgUS cycling star Lance Armstrong has announced he will no longer fight drug charges from the US anti-doping agency, ahead of a Friday deadline.In a statement, the 40-year-old maintains he is innocent, but says he is weary of the “nonsense” accusations.The US anti-doping agency (USADA) now says it will ban Armstrong from cycling for life and strip him of his seven Tour de France titles.Armstrong retired from professional sport in 2011.USADA alleges he used banned substances as far back as 1996, including the blood-booster EPO, steroid and blood transfusions.Armstrong sued in federal court to block the charges but lost. ‘Heartbreaking’ case“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Armstrong said in the statement.“I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999.“Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s [USADA’s chief executive] unconstitutional witch hunt.“The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.” Armstrong had been given until 06:00 GMT on Friday to decide whether to continue fighting the USADA charges.The agency has said that 10 of Armstrong’s former teammates are prepared to testify against him.The cyclist has accused USADA of offering “corrupt inducements” to other riders.USADA also accuses Armstrong of being a “ring-leader” of systematic doping on his Tour de France winning teams.Mr Tygart said shortly after Armstrong’s statement that his agency would ban Armstrong from cycling for life and strip him of his titles, according to AP. The chief executive described the case as a “heartbreaking” example of a win-at-all costs approach to sports.However, Armstrong disputed that the USADA has the power to take away his titles.“USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges,” his statement said.The cycling governing body the International Cycling Union (UCI) – which had backed Armstrong’s challenge to challenge USADA’s authority – has so far made no public comments on the latest developments.Armstrong, who survived testicular cancer prior to his record-breaking Tour wins, retired after the 2005 Tour de France but made a comeback in 2009. He retired for a second time in February 2011.He now says he will be focusing on the work with his cancer charity.last_img read more