HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) Pennsylvania has launched the Pennsylvania Reentry Council (PRC).
It was created to educate the public, members of law enforcement and criminal justice, and policymakers on why supporting prisoner reentry efforts is essential to reducing crime and violence
Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro, along with members of the governor’s cabinet and legislators made the announcement today.
. The council will provide a forum for the sharing of best practices on reentry and will help to identify barriers to successful reentry for persons with criminal records.
In a prepared released Governor Tom Wolf said “In Pennsylvania, 90 percent of the prison population will return to their community,” Governor Wolf added. “And if we are not successful at getting them the services they need to make it home, then all of our work, all the rehabilitative programming, all the money we’ve spent to get them ready to return home is rendered useless. Pennsylvania has had a large but fragmented network of reentry services, but today with the announcement of the Reentry Council, we can unite the state’s multiple reentry partners into one statewide reentry council.”
“For too long, we’ve relied solely on incarceration to prevent crime and violence,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “By working collaboratively with law enforcement, state and local government and communities, we can create new strategies to expand opportunities and assist returning citizens as they reenter their communities, and make our commonwealth safer as a result.”
Also, Governor Wolf signed Act 5 of 2016 into law, which removes barriers to employment by sealing minor criminal records for those who have been crime-free for 10 years. Farther reaching ‘clean slate’ legislation is anticipated later this year to provide for “automatic” sealing of non-violent misdemeanor records after 10 years.