This week we react to Governor Corbett’s mention of overcrowded state prisons in his budget address and give a preview of an expected House vote on House Bill 317, expanding the death penalty to add two new aggravating circumstances.
As always, you can check out our latest statements on civil liberties-related legislation at our legislative webpage.
Update, 5:34pm: Here is what Governor Corbett said about prisons during his budget address:
Last month my administration cancelled a prison project in Fayette County because we don’t need it and we can’t afford it. We also can’t afford to ask counties in our state to subsist on a prison-based economy. We need industries that generate wealth, not sorrow…
In 1993, Pennsylvania had 24,000 men and women in its prisons. Today that number is over 50,000. This number speaks to a failure. Sometimes it’s a failure in our schools, or in our society, but ultimately in the personal character of the criminal.
We need to fund additional parole officers to help freed inmates make the transition from the prison yard to Main Street. We need to think smarter about how and when and how long to jail people.
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