Episode 29: Moving the needle on criminal justice

A rare bipartisan issue

  • Katie Meyer/WITF

Last legislative session, Pennsylvania’s General Assembly came to a rare, bipartisan consensus on criminal justice and passed the Clean Slate Act–a measure that helps former inmates get their records expunged.

Now, the House and Senate are trying to move the needle on other criminal justice bills.

This morning on Smart Talk, we’re spending the hour with a panel of Democrats who–among other things–have been central to negotiations on cutting down on the commonwealth’s long probation times, regulating the way criminal defense is funded, and making it easier for inmates to reintegrate after serving sentences.

We’ll hear from Democratic State Representative Jordan Harris and Senator Anthony Williams–both of whom serve as minority whip in their chambers, and are members of the Legislative Black Caucus.

We’ll also hear from two former inmates–newly-appointed Board of Pardons Secretary Brandon Flood, and onetime House Speaker Bill DeWeese.

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