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FAMM Statement on Policing Reform in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG – FAMM Pennsylvania Policy Director Celeste Trusty released the following statement in support of efforts to advance and pass legislation that would transform the way policing is carried out in Pennsylvania:
FAMM supports policing reform in Pennsylvania. We know that eradicating systemic racial bias in the criminal justice system cannot be achieved without it. We know that unequal policing practices contribute to the stark racial disparities that exist in Pennsylvania’s prisons. Over-policing of black and brown communities leads to additional arrests, which leads to longer prison terms, which leads to disparity in the prison population. Today, black Pennsylvanians make up less than 13 percent of the state’s population, but more than 40 percent of the state’s prison population.
Reducing that disparity will require new thinking at each step in the justice system. We applaud and support the governor and legislature for addressing police reform this session, and hope this signals a long-term commitment to advancing substantive criminal justice reform in Pennsylvania
FAMM has promoted reforms to eliminate racial discrimination and increase transparency and oversight in our justice system. FAMM’s focus has been on sentencing and prison reform, but we recognize that these values must be honored at every point of interaction between citizens and law enforcement, including the first point of contact.
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.