Lawmakers, Advocates Highlight Importance of Re-entry, Re-integration Programs

HARRISBURG – Members of the Criminal Justice Reform Caucus held a press conference today to highlight the importance of re-entry and re-integration programs, according to Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46), who co-chairs the Caucus in the Senate.

Re-entry initiatives aim to positively change inmate behavior beginning at reception, through release, and on to community supervision, in an effort to reduce recidivism and victimization, while also promoting public safety.

In recognition of these important efforts, Bartolotta introduced a resolution in the Senate today recognizing June as “Re-entry Month” in Pennsylvania.

“Violent individuals who are a danger to society should remain behind bars, but the vast majority of nonviolent offenders should, and are, returning to our communities,” Bartolotta said. “That is why we need to ensure criminal records are not lifelong barriers which prevent successful re-entry and work in society.”

Bartolotta added that this is not a partisan issue. Groups from across the political spectrum gathered today in support of policies that will reduce recidivism rates, restore broken families, and save tax dollars.

“Pennsylvania is gaining a reputation as a leader in effective criminal justice reform, thanks to successful reforms like the Justice Reinvestment Initiative and Clean Slate. Smart-on-crime reforms before the legislature now will improve public safety and prioritize resources where they are most needed, while creating a pathway to community and workforce reintegration. Pennsylvania will thrive as more individuals achieve independence and maintain a life free of crime,” said Nathan Benefield, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Commonwealth Foundation.

“We are excited to join the Criminal Justice Reform Caucus and this broad coalition of reformers to celebrate re-entry month. There is no better time to shed a light on the untapped potential of individuals coming back to our communities and getting a second chance at a life of fulfillment. Now is the time look forward, build on the success of the Clean Slate Act, and pass even bolder reforms to our criminal justice system,” said Anna McCauslin, Deputy State Director for Americans for Prosperity-PA.

 

CONTACT: Katrina Hanna (717) 787-1463