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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Prison Reform Efforts are Showing Results

Corrections Population Decrease is Largest One-Year Drop Since 1971
Prison Reform Efforts are Showing Results
Harrisburg – Secretary of the Department of Corrections John Wetzel today
announced that the agency ended the calendar year with a population of 51,184

“This is a decrease of 454 inmates from last calendar year,” said DOC Planning,
Research and Statistics Director Kristofer Bucklen. “This also was the largest oneyear
drop in our population since 1971, and only the third time in the past 40 years
that our population has shown an annual decrease rather than an increase.”

“Our declining inmate population shows that we are on the right track to improving
our corrections system,” Wetzel said. “Gov. Corbett began leading this reform by
ordering the corrections system to analyze and improve ourselves.’’

“This is a strong indication that the Corbett Corrections Reform is starting to yield
results for the citizens of Pennsylvania. At the same time, the Governor initiated
the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), in which he set the benchmark by urging
JRI members to reach their goals in only a matter of months. In other states,
similar efforts take years. Taking a bi-partisan, participatory planning approach,
this process should allow us to build on the progress we’ve made within the

This population decrease was a joint accomplishment involving many in the criminal
justice continuum, especially the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole,
Wetzel said.
Fewer court commitments combined with policy changes that enable Pennsylvania
to both reduce spending and increase public safety are beginning to take shape,
Wetzel added.

“Gov. Corbett instructed state government to improve performance,” Wetzel said.
“System efficiencies are reducing backlogs in the parole process, enabling more
people to be reviewed by the Parole Board.”

“In this short period of time, we have seen the percent of parole board inmate
interviews increase from 58 to 83 percent, which is the highest percentage of
docketed cases ever seen historically,” Wetzel said.

In addition, new court admissions were down 154 inmates, compared to 2011, and
parole releases were up by 1,176 inmates.

Wetzel also pointed out that “short min” inmates – or those inmates committed to
the DOC who have less than one year to serve until they reach their minimum
sentence expiration date -- are being classified quicker by DOC staff.

“This increase in the classification process means that ‘short min’ inmates are more
likely to be prepared for parole at their minimum sentence date rather than months
beyond that date,” Wetzel said. “In 2012, the average time for classification of a
short minimum sentenced inmate dropped from 75 days to 30 days (a drop of
about a month and a half).”

“These indicators of progress are a credit to all staff across all agencies that we are
doing what we need to do,” Wetzel said. “We are heading in the right direction
thanks to everyone’s efforts. I especially want to acknowledge the leadership of
Executive Deputy Secretary Shirley Moore Smeal, who has headed up the internal
improvement efforts.”

Wetzel also said that his agency plans to release a new landmark recidivism report
within the next few months which will become the benchmark for reporting
recidivism and crime reduction resulting from corrections reform, as well as provide
citizens the opportunity to measure the results.

For more information, visit the Department of Corrections website at:


Anonymous said...

One Thing the local courts cold do is Take the ink away From Rubber Stamp Andy!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yep, he refiles charges that are thrown out, he takes charges that could be just paid with a fine, but turns them into felonies. He's not about Justice he's about how many convictions he can get. He uses scare tactics. You can only push people so far. I won't be voting for him. I seen to much already. Karma Andy, it'll catch up with you when your term is up! My property taxes went up because of him! Who knows maybe the Disciplinary Board will have a go at him soon and he'll be replaced.

Anonymous said...

I voted for as I thought i knew his family and ethics. Boy was I wrong! I will never vote for him again. He also seems way to comfratable to let his cops to be lets say less then truthful. POTTER COUNTYS WORST DA EVER! I hope the nail him some day on his Ethics. He is try to make a name for himself on other peoples back. I hope it catches up to him soon! I am sad that I did not do better research on him before I voted.

Anonymous said...

Figures lie, and liars figure. Just let more inmates out and your stats look better. Doesn't necessarily mean you should pat yourselves on the back.

Anonymous said...

The local DA need to put down his copy of MEIN KOmpf and pick up a copy of the constation!!!! Go little Hiyler go