County Probation Systems Should Focus on Highest Risk Offenders
HARRISBURG – Three central Pennsylvania Republican House members traveled to Philadelphia today urging support to modify the state’s probation system. Reps. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland), Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland) and Mike Jones (R-York) met with advocates and other legislators committed to reform efforts.
“There needs to be a balance between supporting law enforcement and making sure those that have served their time can return to our communities as productive members of society,” Delozier said. “But having too many people on probation would prevent our county probation agents from focusing on those who need supervision the most. For those who do violate their probation, going back to jail should not be the automatic response. The system needs to be fixed to ensure probation works for both offenders and their victims.”
Delozier is the author of the Clean Slate law, which automatically seals records of second- and third-degree misdemeanor criminal convictions after 10 years without a subsequent arrest, prosecution or conviction. She also is the co-chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Criminal Justice Reform Caucus and the author of Marsy’s Law legislation, a proposed constitutional amendment that would revise the state’s Constitution to provide specific protections to individual victims as their cases are adjudicated.
“The system has to work for municipalities throughout the Commonwealth, from the big city of Philadelphia to a rural town the size of New Philadelphia in Schuylkill County,” said Jones, a member of the bipartisan, bicameral Criminal Justice Reform Caucus. “These proposals will be fully reviewed, and with so many people working on this – representatives of the courts, probation offices, district attorneys, and advocates – I am confident we can get it right.”
“When offenders leave the prison or jail, they should be ready to succeed in their communities, and that is the point of probation – to make sure they stay on track,” Rothman said. “Our goal is to improve the system, making certain the right people are being supervised, and those who need to go back to prison… go back and hopefully get and accept the help they need.”
Rothman is involved with job training efforts for those adjusting to life after parole through Prison Fellowship, a prison ministry organization. He also participates in Angel Tree, which is a charity organization that focuses on outreach and support for the children of prisoners.
Representative Sheryl Delozier
Representative Mike Jones
Representative Greg Rothman
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tracy Polovick