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FAMM announces a new campaign in support of a second chances agenda in Pennsylvania
The criminal justice organization calls for expanded use of compassionate release, clemency and second look laws
HARRISBURG – FAMM recently announced a new “Second Chances Agenda“ campaign aimed at urging Pennsylvania policymakers to end life without parole, pass medical and elderly release legislation and increase their use of compassionate release and clemency.
“Pennsylvania’s prisons are full of people who simply do not need to be there,” said Celeste Trusty, FAMM Pennsylvania State Policy Director. “Thousands of sick and aging people in prison continue to serve long sentences that do absolutely nothing to make our communities safer. They, as well as those who have grown and matured while incarcerated, should have a second chance at life outside prison.”
FAMM’s Pennsylvania Second Chances Agenda campaign calls for the following:
- End life without parole – Repeal the mandatory life sentence statutes for first- and second-degree murder, allow opportunities for release for people with these convictions, and make these reforms retroactive. All of us change and mature, and our laws should reflect that. Pennsylvania’s judges should have the discretion to impose individualized, appropriate sentences, and review unjust sentences.
- Allow medical/elderly release and expand compassionate release – More than 20 percent of Pennsylvania’s prison population is over the age of 50, and many of these people have chronic health conditions. Maintaining such an enormous population of aging and ill people in our prisons is expensive, unnecessary, and unjust. Pennsylvania should create mechanisms to release people in prison based on age or medical necessity.
- Expand clemency. In Pennsylvania, clemency is the only hope of relief for people serving very long and life without parole sentences. Clemency through commutation is a crucial mechanism to address injustice and support second chances for this population, and its use should be substantially expanded.
FAMM’s Second Chances Agenda campaign is calling for a series of reforms at both the state and federal levels. Find out more at FAMM.org/secondchances.
For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies at the state and federal level and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.