FAMM praises Gov. Tom Wolf for signing commutations

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FAMM praises Gov. Tom Wolf for signing commutations  

HARRISBURG – FAMM Pennsylvania State Policy Director Maria Goellner issued the following statement in response to commutations recommended by the Board of Pardons that were signed by Governor Tom Wolf on July 14.

“Last week eight incarcerated people in Pennsylvania got a chance to reunite with their families, friends, and loved ones,” Goellner said. “This is a wonderful development for them, and we are hopeful to see more people granted this same chance. Gov. Wolf has used his clemency power much more than previous administrations, and we hope that with his remaining time in office he will pursue more opportunities to reunite Pennsylvania families and also improve the commutation process.”

The following eight people were granted commutation from life sentences last week: Terrell Carter, Ronald J. Connolly, James R. Jackson, Gary A. Kyles, Michael Lyons, Felix B Rosado, and Phoebe L. Tomasek.

Pennsylvania is one of only seven states to categorically deny parole eligibility for lifers. Expanding clemency is a pillar of FAMM’s Second Chances Agenda, which seeks to create as many mechanisms as possible to give people second chances, reunite families, and reduce mass incarceration. In Pennsylvania, FAMM has communicated with elected officials about suggested reforms for the clemency process, which includes commutations and pardons.

Goellner added, “FAMM also wants to thank the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons and Secretary Celeste Trusty for their work in making these commutations happen, which continues the progress that we have seen over the past couple of years.”

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 levels 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 safely reduce incarceration, save taxpayer dollars, and keep families together. Founded in 1991, FAMM has secured bold sentencing and prison reform across the country while elevating the voices of directly impacted individuals and families. | | @FAMMFoundation

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