Criminal Justice

COMMENTARY

Perry Co.’s DA could put a homeless man in jail over a Mountain Dew. Is that justice? | Opinion

BY: - September 23, 2021

Prosecutors have broad discretion on whether to pursue cases. Is politics driving this one?

In a city torn by violence, Black Philadelphians are buying guns to respond to crime, racism

BY: - September 22, 2021

“Why would you want the racists to be the only ones with knowledge of firearms?” Philadelphia gun advocate and founder of Black Guns Matter, Maj Toure, recently asked a reporter.

Allegheny County Jail board ends contract with C-SAU, warden Harper objects

BY: - September 22, 2021

With the contract removed, Allegheny County President Judge Kim Clark expressed her concerns during the meeting about the jail’s capacity to comply by Dec. 6 with a ballot referendum which bans solitary condiment, as well as the use of restraints and chemical weapons. Clark said she trusts ACJ warden Orlando Harper to do the right thing and comply with the referendum by Dec. 6.

COMMENTARY

Amid renewed push to expand Pell Grant eligibility, Pa. must remove barriers for students | Opinion

BY: - September 20, 2021

Launched in 2015, the Second Chance Pell experiment provides Pell Grants to incarcerated men and women for enrollment in postsecondary education programs provided in state and federal prisons. Through these learning opportunities, incarcerated adults can earn an associate of arts degree, industry-recognized certificates, or general coursework that will ultimately boost their opportunities for employment when they re-enter society.

COMMENTARY
marijuana

Attorney: Pa.’s med.marijuana regulatory backlog is at a ‘crisis’ state | Wednesday Morning Coffee

BY: - September 15, 2021

The Dept. of Health is doing some things well. More needs to be fixed, Harrisburg attorney Judith Cassel said

COMMENTARY

We need to break the cycle of gun violence. That starts with us | Opinion

BY: - September 14, 2021

No one wins with this ongoing violence, the wasted human potential, and the current insidiousness of military-grade weapons on our city streets.

Pa.’s long-serving prisons chief, John E. Wetzel, is leaving, Wolf admin says

BY: - September 13, 2021

Wetzel, whose work to reform the state's sprawling and expensive prison system, won him plaudits, told the Capital-Star that he plans to open a criminal justice nonprofit in February.

Pa. prison guards union sues to block Wolf’s vaccine policy

BY: - September 13, 2021

The union representing 11,000 Pennsylvania prison guards and other corrections staff has filed a lawsuit to block Gov. Tom Wolf’s vaccine policy. The policy, announced last month, required thousands of state employees working in congregate settings — such as state-run hospitals, homes for the disabled, and prisons — to get vaccinated or be tested for […]

Wolf announces grant funding for gun violence prevention projects | Five for the Weekend

BY: - September 4, 2021

Philly Rep. Bullock: "We can no longer afford to ignore the very real human and economic costs of gun violence in the Commonwealth."

Controversial Allegheny County Jail contractor has criminal history, served time in U.K.

BY: - September 3, 2021

The contractor, Joseph Garcia, also once warned of a race war against correctional officers

Feds expand Pell Grant program for prisoners working on college degrees in Pa., other states

BY: - August 29, 2021

“Access to post-secondary education in prison reduces recidivism rates, and people who participate in these programs are 48 percent less likely to return to prison,” one expert said.  

Pa. redistricting commission to count people in prison at their old home, not in their cell

BY: - August 24, 2021

This will effectively mark a small but meaningful shift in population from Pennsylvania countryside to it’s cities, increasing urban representation while reducing rural representation.