December 19, 2015
Justice Reinvestment Initiative Working Group Unanimously Approves Final
Will Save $108
million, create safer communities, support crime victims
Harrisburg, PA. —Pennsylvania’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative
(JRI) Working Group unanimously approved their final recommendations on
criminal justice reform in Pennsylvania. The implementation of these reforms would result in a savings of
$108 million, make our communities safer and protect the rights of victims.
was the culmination of a yearlong, bipartisan effort to examine the data behind
Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system, and use that data to develop new and
innovative ways to save money, increase public safety and protect the interests
of victims,” said Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD)
Chairman Josh Shapiro. “I am proud of the work that the JRI Working Group has
accomplished and that this was done in a bipartisan manner.”
September 2015, Governor Tom Wolf reached out to the Bureau of Justice
Assistance in the U.S. Department of Justice and the Pew Charitable Trusts to
request technical assistance in undergoing a second phase of JRI in Pennsylvania.
Upon their agreement to provide this assistance, Governor Wolf appointed PCCD
Chairman Shapiro to chair a working group to lead this effort. With the
assistance of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, this working
group has agreed on six recommendations for criminal justice system
improvements for Pennsylvania.
public safety for victims by serving more people, more effectively.
pretrial decision making to increase public safety and decrease county prison
polices to guide sentencing decisions to reduce recidivism.
the use of effective probation interventions to lower recidivism.
short prison sentences more predictable and less expansive.
recidivism results for parolees by targeting resources and responses.
detailed report from the working group will be available early next year along
with drafts of legislation to implement these changes.
believe these recommendations could affect real, positive change in the
criminal justice system,” said Corrections Secretary John Wetzel. “We look
forward to working with members of the General Assembly to codify these
improvements to Pennsylvania's criminal justice system, improving public safety
and reducing costs.”
mission of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency is to increase
the safety of our communities by enhancing the quality of the criminal and
juvenile justice systems and the services offered to those that have been a
victim of a crime.
Matthew Leonard, 717.265.8539