Lawmakers introduce Fair Chance Act

Booker, Republicans introduce federal ban-the-box legislation

A little more than a year after Philadelphia expanded its ban-the-box law, which prevents employers from asking about criminal backgrounds until a job offer has been made, federal legislators introduced similar national legislation in Washington. – Jane M. Von Bergen, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News

Pa. launches initiative to decrease mentally ill prison population

Can Pa. find a way out for thousands of mentally ill inmates languishing in county jails?

Bruce Herdman, chief of medical operations for the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, sometimes describes the county jails this way: “This is the largest psychiatric hospital in the state of Pennsylvania.” Forty percent of Philadelphia inmates are on psychotropic medications; 17 percent have what’s considered a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.