pa-prisons

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.

COMMENTARY

Life without parole has turned Pa.’s prisons into hospices for the hopeless | Opinion

BY: - August 19, 2021

People are aging and dying in prison, withering away to nothing with no chance of ever returning to the free world

State hospital, prison employees must be vaccinated or face weekly COVID tests under new policy

BY: - August 10, 2021

Starting Sept. 7, if workers in these facilities do not get vaccinated, they must take weekly tests for the virus. The tests will be at no cost to the employee, and will mostly take place on site, the administration said.

Pa. state prison inmates mount hunger strike, calling for end to solitary confinement

BY: - July 2, 2021

The hunger strike is in response to what advocates call inhumane torture in solitary confinement

McClinton calls for safeguards against prison gerrymandering in Pa. legislative maps

BY: - May 26, 2021

(*This story was updated at 9:10 p.m. on Wednesday 5/26/21 to include comment from House Republicans, and to reflect that G. Reynolds Clark no longer works at the University of Pittsburgh and that Robert Byer did not donate to President Donald Trump.) Potentially upsetting decades of precedent that has aided rural, white Pennsylvanians at the […]

COMMENTARY

Report: Pa. has 2nd highest number of people in U.S. serving life without parole | Tuesday Morning Coffee

BY: - May 4, 2021

Black Pennsylvanians are 21 times more likely to be sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder than white people, research found.

COMMENTARY

The Pa. Corrections Department shouldn’t renew its contract with Smart Communications. This is why | Opinion

BY: - April 20, 2021

The DOC could institute less draconian measures that would prevent the introduction of drugs into prisons while allowing incarcerated people to receive their mail.

Former Philly prosecutor Seth Williams finds second act teaching former offenders, others

BY: - April 19, 2021

Williams says he believes the center is tailor-made for his skills in the aftermath of his Icarus-like fall from his high-powered position.

COMMENTARY

Gov. Wolf can — and must — save the lives of our incarcerated loved ones | Opinion

BY: - February 21, 2021

During a pandemic, prisons are deadly. The nature of confinement makes it almost impossible for people to practice social distancing

Amid harsh winter for the pandemic, advocates, lawmakers pressure Wolf to release more from state prison

BY: - February 9, 2021

Thirty Democratic members of the state House and Senate wrote to Wolf on Monday urging him to use reprieve powers to cull the state’s prison population.

Philadelphia inmates could be among first groups to get COVID-19 vaccine

BY: - December 10, 2020

Inmates fall into Phase 1 of the city’s vaccine distribution plan, which includes front-line workers in hospitals and nursing homes, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said Tuesday. Inmates live in confined and shared spaces where it is difficult to social distance.

Advocates launch hunger strike to force Wolf to release inmates to slow COVID spread

BY: - June 1, 2020

In a May 28 letter, Free People Strike called on Wolf to release 1,800 individuals eligible for release under an April 10 reprieve order Wolf signed to help aid the Department of Corrections in qualifying individuals for transfer or home confinement amid COVID-19 outbreaks in prisons.