HARRISBURG, Pa., May 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today REFORM Alliance joined bipartisan bill sponsors Rep. Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia) and Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) as they introduced the Smart Probation & Parole Act (HB1555) to the legislature for consideration in the House Judiciary Committee.
The Smart Probation & Parole Act (HB1555) is the first major legislative action for the REFORM Alliance, a criminal justice initiative launched in response to the unjust re-imprisonment of recording artist and Pennsylvania-native Meek Mill for a minor technical violation while on probation. The mission of REFORM Alliance is to solve the ongoing probation and parole crisis driving mass incarceration in the United States.
The Smart Probation & Parole Act (HB1555) is designed to:
- Incentivize good behavior and rehabilitation for people on probation and parole.
- Reverse damaging measures that led to Pennsylvania having the third highest percentage of its citizens on probation and parole in America.
As it currently stands, key components of the Smart Probation & Parole Act (HB1555) include:
- Setting standards for probation term lengths according to the crime (2 years for misdemeanors, 5 years for felonies)
- Standardizing "good time credits" in exchange for certified rehabilitative programming, i.e. GED courses and vocational training
- Minimizing the types of technical violations for which an individual can be re-incarcerated
- Increasing due process and effective communication when someone is suspected of a technical violation
- Retroactive application for all components
The Smart Probation & Parole Act (HB1555) has garnered widespread support throughout the state, from individuals with first-hand experience of Pennsylvania's broken probation and parole system to Democratic and Republican representatives and advocacy groups – State Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland), Ed Gainey (D-Allegheny), State Rep. Mike Jones, (R-York), the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, The Commonwealth Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, #cut50, American Civil Liberties Union, American Conservative Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and Prison Fellowship.
"I've been on probation in Pennsylvania my entire adult life, for over a decade. Every aspect of my life is restricted," Meek said. "We need to pass HB1555 and make sure individuals in Pennsylvania never experience confining and oppressive barriers that make it nearly impossible to re-enter society, travel to a job or even provide for their families."
"The more time I spend fighting for criminal justice reform, the more I realize just how broken Pennsylvania's system is," Rubin said. "We're confident that HB1555 has the potential to fix many issues in a meaningful way and end the nightmare that hundreds of thousands of people across Pennsylvania have been living through, stemming from unjust re-imprisonment and unfair probation laws. We will stop at nothing until this bill is passed."
"Pennsylvania is one of the worst offenders when it comes to having too many people on probation and parole — for way too long," said Jones. "HB1555 introduces common sense solutions that favor rehabilitation over re-imprisonment. I hope this bill returns Pennsylvania to being the beacon of American independence it could be."
To learn more about REFORM Alliance initiatives in Pennsylvania, please visit reformalliance.com/pennsylvania and follow @REFORM on social media.
About REFORM Alliance
The REFORM Alliance is committed to advancing criminal justice reform and eradicating laws and policies that perpetuate injustice in the United States. To achieve that objective, REFORM will pass probation bills at the state level, use media to amplify the need for comprehensive reform and build an inclusive, bi-partisan alliance of leaders who share a vision for ambitiously and efficiently transforming the criminal justice system.
REFORM's founding partners include recording artist Meek Mill; Philadelphia 76ers Co-Owner and Fanatics Executive Chairman Michael Rubin; entrepreneur and business mogul Shawn "JAY-Z" Carter; Kraft Group CEO and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft; Brooklyn Nets co-owner and philanthropic investor Clara Wu Tsai; Third Point LLC CEO and founder Daniel S. Loeb; Galaxy Digital CEO and founder Michael E. Novogratz; Vista Equity Partners founder, chairman, and CEO Robert F. Smith. CNN host, author, and activist Van Jones is the CEO.
To learn more visit reformalliance.com/.
CONTACT: Didier Morais, [email protected]
SOURCE REFORM Alliance