NEW POLL REVEALS OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FOR PROBATION REFORMS AND OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING OVERHAUL

Syrita Bowen News, Pennsylvania, Press

93% of Voters Support Breaking Down Barriers to Employment for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals Results Show Broad Bipartisan Support for Criminal Justice Legislative Proposals as Major Advocates Host Probation Reform Lobby Day in Harrisburg (Harrisburg, PA) — As legislators return to Harrisburg, a new poll is showing a groundswell of bipartisan support for criminal justice reform legislation, including probation and occupational licensing reform bills in the House and Senate. The new poll, released today by the Justice Action Network reveals that Pennsylvanians across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support measures to “significantly improve” the state’s criminal justice system, with 75% voter support for probation reform and more than 80% support for occupational …

THIRTY MILLION CRIMINAL RECORDS SLATED FOR AUTOMATIC SEALING AS CLEAN SLATE KICKS OFF – GOVERNOR WOLF & BIPARTISAN LAWMAKERS CONTINUE TO LEAD NATION IN SECOND CHANCES

Syrita Bowen News, Pennsylvania, Press

Half of Pennsylvania Courts’ Criminal Records Database to Be Sealed Thanks to First-In-Nation Clean Slate Act HARRISBURG, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf and a bipartisan group of lawmakers announced that Pennsylvania’s courts will begin automatically sealing more than 30 million criminal records – half of their entire database – as a result of the Commonwealth’s first-in-the-nation Clean Slate Act, which becomes effective today. The Governor, elected officials, and criminal justice reform advocates celebrated this historic milestone at a press conference today, as Pennsylvania becomes the first state in the country to use an automated process to seal certain criminal records and offer second chances for individuals with low-level offenses. …

Judges Seek Changes To Drug Sentencing Bill

Syrita Bowen News, Ohio, Press, Uncategorized

–Gongwer News Service Members of the judiciary spoke out Wednesday against a Senate priority bill to overhaul the state’s drug sentencing laws. The measure (SB 3) is too lenient on dangerous drugs like cocaine and opioids, according to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge David Matia, who provided interested party testimony on behalf of the Ohio Judicial Conference. Judge Matia also took issue with the proposition that a felony conviction is a barrier to employment. “The reason that some people with felonies cannot find work is that they have an incomplete education, many jobs are too far away from a bus line, they lack the motivation to get up in …

BIPARTISAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM CONTINUES TO SURGE IN PENNSYLVANIA

Syrita Bowen News, Pennsylvania, Press

Historic Second Chance Bill Introduced by Bipartisan Lawmakers; Emphasis is on Expanding Employment Opportunities Senate Bill 637 and House Bill 1477 Reform Occupational Licensing Laws to Get Pennsylvanians With Criminal Records Back to Work (Harrisburg, PA) – Today at a joint press conference, a group of bipartisan lawmakers announced the introduction of occupational licensing reform legislation aimed at reducing recidivism and breaking down barriers to employment for Pennsylvanians with criminal records. Senators John DiSanto (R-15) and Judy Schwank (D-11) introduced Senate Bill 637, and Representatives Sheryl Delozier (R-88) and Jordan Harris (D-186) introduced House Bill 1477. Both bills contain the following reforms: Prohibit state boards, commissions, or departments from denying or revoking an occupational …

AS OHIO SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARS TESTIMONY ON “NEXT STEP ACT,” JUSTICE ACTION NETWORK RELEASES NEW POLL SHOWING OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FOR THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM PACKAGE

Syrita Bowen News, Ohio, Press

Senate Bill 3, Sponsored by Sens. Eklund (R-18) & O’Brien (D-32), Includes Sentencing Reforms, Record Sealing & Expungement Fixes (Columbus, Ohio) – Today, as the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 3, Ohio’s most significant bipartisan sentencing reform package in years, the Justice Action Network released poll results that show Ohio voters overwhelmingly support major criminal justice reforms, with 87% of respondents supporting sentencing reforms. Titled “Next Step Ohio,” a nod to the “First Step Act,” federal prison and sentencing reform legislation signed into law by President Trump late last year, Ohio’s Senate Bill 3 reduces penalties for some low-level, non-violent offenses, particularly drug possession offenses. Under …