The death warrants have been around since 1995, a strain on court time and resources. The news rolled in earlier this month, for the 460th time since 1985: A Pennsylvania death row inmate had received an execution notice or warrant.
After serving their time, today’s inmates will return to their homes and community. In essence, prison health becomes public health, said Hannah Zellman, program director with Philadelphia FIGHT, the nonprofit that hosted Wednesday’s “Beyond the Walls: Prison Healthcare and Reentry Summit.” The annual summit began as a tiny conference focused on the intersection of HIV/AIDS and incarceration.
In the fractured state of the commonwealth that is Pennsylvania, a first-of-its-kind bill that would seal criminal records for minor offenses passed unanimously in the Senate on Wednesday. “Unanimous,” crowed Community Legal Services employment attorney Sharon Dietrich, punctuating her email with three exclamation points. Dietrich has long advocated for this type of legislation.
The state Senate voted unanimously yesterday in favor of a bill that would seal misdemeanor records after 10 years. The legislation would only apply to those who avoided other convictions for at least 10 years. It’s a big win for criminal justice reform advocates like Sharon Dietrich, litigation director of Community Legal Services.
George Soros tried, but failed to get Keir Bradford-Grey to run for District Attorney in Philadelphia earlier this year. It turns out she had unfinished business as the chief defender of the Philadelphia Defenders Association, the organization responsible for representing criminal defendants who can’t afford a lawyer.
George Soros tried, but failed to get Keir Bradford-Grey to run for District Attorney in Philadelphia earlier this year. It turns out she had unfinished business as the chief defender of the Philadelphia Defenders Association, the organization responsible for representing criminal defendants who can’t afford a lawyer. Now, Bradford-Grey — a self-described activist — has been monitoring and pushing against drug enforcement in the city of Philadelphia, while championing progressive policies like diversionary programs. Also on the podcast is an emotional and in-depth interview with Anthony Hirschbuhl, a black Philadelphian who was arrested at age 15 for possessing a nickel bag of marijuana, and who, as a result of his arrest, has only been able to get his life on track recently, more than a decade later.
Guests (in order of appearance):
Anthony Hirschbuhl, re-entry activist
Keir Bradford-Grey, chief defender of the Philadelphia Defenders Association
Parents should be consistent, punishing kids immediately, predictably and fairly when they misbehave. The same logic, some believe, should guide our criminal justice system. The problem with the way probation and parole violations are addressed – according to Bret Bucklen, director of research at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections – is that authorities act like lousy parents.
The court ruled that there is a presumption against life sentences for juveniles – and that, in order to sentence a minor to life, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he is incapable of rehabilitation. – Samantha Melamed, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News