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PA Auditor Calls For Criminal Justice Reform After Prison Population Significantly Rises

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jan 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

Within the last couple of years, Pennsylvania has made great strides in reforming its criminal justice system after decades of taking a “tough-on-crime” approach to criminal legislation. But despite the state's valiant efforts to reverse these trends, its prison system is still clogged with an alarming number of offenders - many of whom have been convicted of non-violent crimes.

A report from state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale recently revealed that Pennsylvania has the highest incarceration rate in the northeastern United States, locking up residents at higher rates than countries like Turkey, Iran, and Russia. The finding has been made just weeks after the implementation of Pennsylvania's “Clean Slate” law, intended to help individuals convicted of minor, non-violent criminal offenses start anew given they don't re-offend.

DePasquale plans to launch an investigation that would shed light on the root of the problem, and ultimately help him come up with recommendations to ensure that the people in prison belong there.

“We need to build on the success of Pennsylvania's recently enacted Clean Slate law and focus on other ways in which we can make our justice system more effective and fair,” DePasquale said. “Not only is it the right thing to do from a fiscal standpoint, it's also the socially responsible way forward.”

DePasquale isn't the first official to advocate for criminal justice reform in the state's correctional system. Prominent nonprofit, the Commonwealth Foundation, and other organizations like it have expressed the same sentiment for years. But now that the numbers are in, many are grappling with just how big a problem this is for the state and undeserving prison offenders. The Commonwealth Foundation and others encourage state lawmakers to prioritize the bipartisan reforms they propose.

The good news is that the state's recent efforts have been pretty effective. Overall, the prison population dropped by more than 1,000 in 2018. But the Auditor General claims that much more needs to be done to reduce prison costs and ease the burden on taxpayers. He anticipates that his report will be ready for release sometime in the fall.

Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney

A significant part of being adequately prepared for your case entails seeking the help of an experienced attorney. A legal professional who defends criminal defense cases will know the ins and outs of the process and can get you on a course of action that ideally fits your needs. Attorney Joseph D. Lento brings a wealth of experience to the table, as he's successfully handled numerous cases just like yours. But most importantly, his familiarity with the overall process can be a source of comfort for you in one of the most stressful times of your life. For more information about his representation or how he can help you, contact him online or by phone today at 215-535-5353.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience fighting for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, as well as New Jersey. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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