Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf participated in a Washington Post Live panel discussion, “Tackling Mass Incarceration: A View from Pennsylvania,” in Washington, D.C., focused on Pennsylvania’s leadership role in criminal justice reform, including the state being first in the nation to pass Clean Slate legislation. Gov. Wolf was joined by Rep. Sheryl Delozier and Secretary John Wetzel, Department of Corrections. Wesley Lowry, Washington Post national correspondent, served as panel moderator.
“Pennsylvania has taken a bi-partisan, collaborative approach to criminal justice reform,” Gov. Wolf said. “The goal is to get people out of our prisons and back into being productive members of their communities and of our state, and Clean Slate makes it easier for those who have interacted with the justice system to reduce the stigma they face when looking for employment and housing.
“It’s my hope that Congress takes Pennsylvania’s lead and passes similar legislation at the national level.”
The panel was part of a multi-panel series that included topics on conviction and clemency, a bipartisan approach to criminal justice reform, and the First Step Act currently being considered by Congress. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) participated on the First Step panel.
Gov. Wolf signed the Clean Slate legislation in June and has called for more meaningful criminal justice reform including passage of the second round of Justice Reinvestment Initiative or JRI2, bail and pre-trial reforms, Post-Conviction Relief Act expansion, probation and parole revocation and resentencing, and indigent defense.
“The Washington Post panel discussion was an excellent opportunity for Pennsylvania to be recognized for its efforts to establish fair, bi-partisan, commonsense criminal justice reform initiatives and I’m proud to have been a part of this ongoing conversation,” Gov. Wolf said.