April 10, 2020 Gov. Wolf: Department of Corrections to Establish Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release, Prison Reform, Public Health Under the authority granted to him by the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Emergency Management Services Code, Governor Tom Wolf today ordered Department of Corrections officials to establish a Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration to help aid the department in the transfer of qualifying individuals to community corrections facilities or home confinement amid the COVID-19 pandemic.The Wolf Administration continues to take every possible action – and asks all Pennsylvanians to do the same – to help stop the spread of COVID-19. These actions, including those in the state corrections system, will save lives, help stop the spread of the virus and avoid overwhelming our already-burdened health care system.“We can reduce our non-violent prison population and leave fewer inmates at risk for contracting COVID-19 while maintaining public safety with this program,” Gov. Wolf said. “I am pleased to direct the Department of Corrections to begin the process to release vulnerable and non-violent inmates at or nearing their release dates in an organized way that maintain supervision post-release and ensures home and health care plans are in place for all reentrants.”The Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration Program only applies to state prison inmates who have been identified as being non-violent and who otherwise would be eligible for release within the next 9 months or who are considered at high risk for complications of coronavirus and are within 12 months of their release.“Just as everyone in the community is dealing with COVID-19, the state prison system is doing the same,” Corrections Sec. John Wetzel said. “We must reduce our inmate population to be able to manage this virus. Without this temporary program, we are risking the health, and potentially lives, of employees and inmates. We can safely release individuals to the community to reduce their vulnerability and allow the department to successfully manage COVID-19.“Without any current legislation, we are moving forward with the understanding that future legislation could further advance these efforts.”As of this morning, there are 11 COVID-19 cases at one prison, SCI Phoenix in Montgomery County, but concern for cases spreading to other facilities is another reason for the expedited release of eligible inmates.Under the temporary reprieve program, approximately 1,500 to 1,800 inmates would be eligible, although given the reentry challenges of ensuring connection to the health care and behavioral health system, housing and food security, the number will likely be less than the eligible pool.Vulnerable inmates will include inmates aged 65 or older; anyone with an autoimmune disorder; pregnant inmates; anyone with a serious, chronic medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, bone marrow or organ transplantation, severe obesity, kidney disease, liver disease,[and] cancer; or another medical condition that places them at higher risk for complications of coronavirus as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The releases could begin as early as Tuesday, April 14.Sec. Wetzel stressed that a thorough reentry component has been developed to ensure inmates will be successful.“While we need to release inmates to protect them and to allow us space to mitigate the impact of the virus in our system, we also know that we need to prepare inmates for release,” Sec. Wetzel said. “Our reentry plans will include several days of release planning with the inmate, preparing and connecting the inmate to treatment programs in the community, release transportation and a complete medical screening to ensure that we are not releasing sick inmates. We’ll also provide them with an appropriate medication supply and connect them to medical providers in the community.”While on temporary reprieve, individuals will be monitored similarly to parolees and will be supervised by parole agents. Upon expiration of the order, individuals would be returned to prison to complete any remaining portion of their sentences.A copy of the governor’s order can be found as a PDF here or on Scribd.Find the latest information, including a daily dashboard, on the DOC’s COVID-19 efforts here.Find the latest information on the coronavirus here.View this information in Spanish.
RelatedPosts Italy introduces compulsory virus testing for travellers from France Nigeria records new COVID-19 infections, more deaths as figures rise to 57,242 Tyson Fury to Anthony Joshua: Don’t risk fighting Usyk Anthony Joshua’s first fight as the restored world heavyweight champion could take place in front of no spectators.British boxing’s governing body told promoters on Thursday it hopes to be able to have shows back from July after months of inactivity because of the coronavirus outbreak. Initially, though, Bouts are expected to be held without fans, meaning Joshua’s fight against Kubrat Pulev – the first since the Briton regained his WBA, IBF and WBO belts by beating Andy Ruiz Jr. in December – would surely be switched from its planned venue, the stadium of English soccer club Tottenham which can hold more than 60,000 spectators.The Joshua-Pulev fight had been scheduled for June 20 before being pushed back to an as-yet-unconfirmed date because of the pandemic.A rearranged date of July 25 has been touted.Joshua wanted the first defence of his belts to take place in London.Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, said his Matchroom Boxing organization was planning to stage “two or three” Saturday fight nights in July before returning with a bigger show, provided boxing and other sports get the go-ahead to return from the British government. Hearn said he wouldn’t want to stage a fight in an enclosed location like a TV studio because he doesn’t see how it “does anything for the sport.”“I want to build a fight camp, a different kind of environment, more dramatic,” Hearn said in an interview with the BBC. “It will look spectacular on TV. We need to dramatize it.“It’s about taking over a hotel, testing all the teams, creating a sterile fight camp where no one goes in until we know they’ve had a negative test. It’s about creating changing room areas, ring walks. It will add to the story.”The British Boxing Board of Control said if boxing was to return in July, there would be an emphasis on “minimal numbers” of officials and broadcast personnel. Medical staff were required at ringside, too.Anyone at the events will have to have been in pre-fight quarantine and had tests for COVID-19. There will initially be a maximum of five fights in a show. The BBBofC said it continues to follow advice from government and medical authorities.—Tags: Andy Ruiz JrAnthony JoshuaCoronavirusTottenham Hotspur