Senate Approves Criminal Justice Reform Measures

The Senate today (June 5) approved a bipartisan package of criminal justice reforms that will reduce prison and probation costs, better protect crime victims and strengthen public safety, according to Senator Elder Vogel.

Senate Bill 500 creates a County Adult Probation and Parole Advisory Committee to help counties better assess the unique risks and needs of probationers to reduce incarceration and cut costs to taxpayers.

Senate Bill 501 streamlines the placement of offenders in drug treatment programs and other intermediate punishment programs, and improve and expedite the parole process for non-violent offenders.

Senate Bill 502 improves communications with crime victims and ensure they receive any compensation they are owed.

“These measures will benefit our communities and our county governments through lower rates of incarceration, which will result in reduced costs that must be paid by taxpayers,” said Senator Vogel. “At the same time, these measure will reinvest a portion of those savings into improving communication with crime victims regarding compensation and services that are available to them.”

The bills approved by the Senate today build on the success of Justice Reinvestment Initiative measures approved in 2012, according to Senator Vogel. Over the past six years, the inmate population in state prisons has been reduced by more than 4,000, and the crime rate has decreased by approximately 18 percent, saving $400 million in projected costs to taxpayers. 

Contact:          Charlie O’Neill            (717) 787-3076

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