View Full Version : trying to pass 'good time' law


shortyncute
08-18-2008, 10:58 PM
My friend has been telling me they are trying to pass a good time law in PA. Has anyone heard of this or know anything about it?

egs
08-19-2008, 08:56 PM
If you go to the PA Prison Society website they have a listing of all the current PA bills that are pending r/t prisons, parole, etc.... There are a few optimistic bills currently pending but I don't recall hearing about a good time bill. Rendell tried to get something like this passed a few years ago and hit major brick walls; he settled for a beefed up "early release" program.
www.prisonsociety.org

shortyncute
08-20-2008, 07:21 AM
Thanks Egs, I was just wondering. My friend is praying/hopeing they pass it.

modwoman
08-20-2008, 08:45 PM
go to the DOC's website and look for "budget documents". In this year's testimony before the appropriations committees, the secretary outlined the various bills, including incentives for inmates to complete programs and get out earlier.

egs
08-24-2008, 07:33 PM
The DOC can only use what the legislators allows them to use for "early release."; that is, halfway house supervision [still under the jurisdiction and authority of the DOC] and alike. No one can shorten a sentence except a judge. However, if laws change this would give the DOC more authority to "play with" or modify one's time. Of course good time and work credits would be the best way to do this but so far the PA legislators have been against this as it would look like they are "soft on crime." Actually passing such a law would be "smart on crime" but who ever said PA legislators were smart???

shortyncute
08-25-2008, 12:57 AM
Thats why they get paid the big bucks to make bills we dont need instead of ones we need.

heavenknows
08-26-2008, 09:08 PM
yes i heard that they are trying to get the bill passed because they have to do something about all the over crowding in the prisons and that's one way of doing it. my husband told me about it and i called his counselor ( he and i talk all the time) and he said it was mention and it;s a bill right now but it has to go through all the channels before they get any word on when ,what , and where. But it's suspose to be 3 months off of every year ( of course the write ups would make some eligible than others; misconducts) but it would go back from 2005 on tothe current year and if they do it there won't be anymore 18 month pre release in effect instead it would push it back to 12 months pre release. hope i didn't confuse anyone pm me if need more info, but i'm only giving you what was given to me by the counselor and my man!:)

msonlydabest
08-26-2008, 09:56 PM
yes i heard that they are trying to get the bill passed because they have to do something about all the over crowding in the prisons and that's one way of doing it. my husband told me about it and i called his counselor ( he and i talk all the time) and he said it was mention and it;s a bill right now but it has to go through all the channels before they get any word on when ,what , and where. But it's suspose to be 3 months off of every year ( of course the write ups would make some eligible than others; misconducts) but it would go back from 2005 on tothe current year and if they do it there won't be anymore 18 month pre release in effect instead it would push it back to 12 months pre release. hope i didn't confuse anyone pm me if need more info, but i'm only giving you what was given to me by the counselor and my man!:)

Will this apply to all felons...are just non-violent? Because it seems like all the pa rules that talk about change are go for the non violent....Thanks for the useful information

shortyncute
08-27-2008, 05:23 AM
How long do you think it will take PA to pass this law? From what I am told PA is the only state that dont have the "good time law".

egs
08-27-2008, 07:39 PM
Most states who have good time calculate time based on one's classification. So, if someone was classified as a "5" [or maximum] he/she will receive less days off per month than one who is classified as a "1" [minimum]. Also, most bills do not apply retroactively but this one could be different. I'll have to look up the Bill and see what is being included, or not. Also to see where it is in the legislative process. What I do know is that Rendell was not successful in getting a Bill like this passed when he last attempted a few years ago. Until large numbers of taxpayers start jumping all over their legislators about the amount of money that is spent on Corrections, it is not likely that this very conservative state will make changes!!!!

egs
08-27-2008, 08:36 PM
Just checked and from what I can tell there is no "good time" bill that has been proposed in PA during this legislative year. If anyone knows something more definitive, please share w/us...and give us the link to any information.

There is one Bill, #678, that was presented in 2007 that would give a parolee the opportunity to reduce their time on parole via "good time." The Bill is stalled in Committee [since 3/2007] and is likely to die at the end of this legislative term [12/31/08]. If a Bill does not move during the two-year legislative period, it has to be re-submitted in the next period and start the process all over again!!!

There are a few other very large Bills but from what I could tell, there was nothing about "good time."

carolyn17603
08-28-2008, 01:55 AM
is there anything we can do? a petition? Im new to legistlative stuff but if theres something we can do as a group we should do it. This could benefit us all. Even if not now for our loved one incarcerated maybe later in general to someone we know. Plus I feel were all close here and I know we like to do what we can to help others so if theres something we can do lets try? Maybe someone can explain if we can help or not?

maryjane2
08-28-2008, 08:23 PM
I looked it up and it would be considered "merit" time. It would be for non violent offenders only but I really don't know if anythings going to come of it. Also i don't know if there is anything that WE could do about it... citizens should be more involved in the making of laws... they're the ones who are supposed to follow them.

heavenknows
08-28-2008, 11:06 PM
What Hasn't Been Done In The Past Things Can Always Change. My Family And I Are God Fearing Christians And I Know We Can Get A Pray Through We Have Been Fasting And Praying Since Ny Husband Went Away In 07 That God Open Doors And Set The Captive Free, Now If My God Can Create A Fish Large Enough To Swallow Jonah He Sure Can Create A Bill To Set My Husband Free! God Specializes In The Impossible, What's Difficult For Man Is Nothing For My God! Now I'm Believing In Faith That My God That Said He Will Come See About Me When I Cry And That Weeping Endureth For A Night But Joy Cometh In The Morning. All You Bible Scholars Go Back And Read How God Shook The Very Earth And Freed Paul. I Know He Can Create A Bill And Allow It To Be Passed And Congress And Anybody Else Won't Even Know Why They Signed It Or Passed It. Last But Certainly Not Least, God Can Make Whom Ever He Wants Subject To Him Whenever He Gets Ready ( King Herrod And The Israelites) He Didn't Think He Would Let His People Go But He Did! I Have Strong Faith And I Beleive Anything God's Word Tells Me He Will Do For His Children. The Question Was Asked "what Can We Do To Help" Contiue To Pray And Beleive God, Keep The Faith And Watch God Move. Didn't Mean To Go To Church On You But Hey I Have Seen The Mighty Hand Of God Move In My Life, My Children's Life And Amilies Life Many Times Before And I Know He Will Never Forsake Me In My Time Of Need. I Have Asked Him To Send My Husband Home Earlier I Won't Anaylze How He Will Do Just That He Does It.

heavenknows
09-07-2008, 07:21 PM
My husband told me that they are voting on that bill at the end of the month.

shortyncute
09-08-2008, 05:39 AM
My husband told me that they are voting on that bill at the end of the month.

I hope, if they vote on this at the end of the month and it passes.what is the next step?

heavenknows
09-08-2008, 05:51 PM
i DON'T KNOW THAT YET, I GUESS WE'LL HAVE TO SEE. HOPEFULLY IT WILL BE SOMETHING THAT CAN START SOON.

msonlydabest
09-09-2008, 04:55 PM
Hey if anybody that knows about this.....keep us posted when the bill is pass! I am hoping something comes out of it!!!!

egs
09-09-2008, 07:41 PM
But as far as I can tell no one has found this Bill on either the PA website or the PA Prison Society website [that tracks all prison-related PA legislation]. Show me the Bill and then we have something to talk about....I'm afraid until there is some evidence of a Bill, it's all wishful thinking and rumor mill run amok....and it would not be the first time this particular rumor has surfaced in side the walls.
BTW, I hope I'm wrong!!!

heavenknows
09-11-2008, 09:14 PM
I beg the differ with the wishful thinking part, my husband's counselor told him the same thing and anyway I still received some good news my hubbie 's time has been pushed up instead of 4-8 they ran all consecutively and now it's 3-6 he has 18 in and plus the judge gave him credit for time he had in earlier 3months which gives him 21 now instead of his release being 2011 it's now dec. 2009. he received a letter from the courts today and waiting for them to change his status sheet. he will be eligible for pre-release sooner. Now if the bill passes it'll be in his favor, but if not God still worked things out in his favor! I'm gonna keep on praying and watch God move, if I can bring the sentence down 1 year and 3 months oh my what else will he do?

Wolf Pack
09-12-2008, 03:20 PM
heavenknows... that's great news!! 2009 will be here before you know it..

heavenknows
09-12-2008, 08:14 PM
Thanks wolf pack and all that read this at a delayed time... I'm just going to take it easy and try not to be too anxious:)

egs
09-14-2008, 07:56 PM
Ok, I finally got some "hard" information about this--"GraterFriends" which is a monthly publication of the PA Prison Society [PPS] and in their September issue they said the following,
"A Bill is pending in the PA General Assembly that provides for recidivism reduction incentives which is similar to what is known as earned good time. This Bill [HB4,PN 4201]...provides for prison reform and includes [besides recidivism reduction] guidelines for parole, changes in confinement from county to state for those serving 2-5 years, state intermediate punishments and central booking, and establishes other provisions. This Bill DID NOT pass before the summer recess; however we [meaning PPS] anticipate that voting for final passage will occur in September when the PA General Assembly reconvenes."

Now we can cross our fingers and toes!!!! It's not RUMOR anymore!

lisalee15132
09-16-2008, 11:27 PM
It's about time PA does something, I swear this is the worst state for sentencing & parole

kare bear
09-23-2008, 10:43 AM
Found this in Pa News and Events


(AP) A package of prison- and sentencing-reform bills that aim to reduce the number of nonviolent inmates and cut costs for counties passed the state House overwhelmingly on Monday, and Gov. Ed Rendell signaled he would probably sign them.


The four bills would establish new parole and recommitment guidelines and allow some terminally ill inmates to die in hospitals, nursing homes or hospices. They also would require the state Corrections Department to assume more responsibility for transporting state prisoners to county court proceedings.
The legislation would eventually require all prisoners _ with narrow exceptions _ who are serving sentences of more than two years to be sent to state prisons. Currently, judges have discretion where to place inmates sentenced to two to five years, which can be expensive for county jails.
Nonviolent drug offenders currently in prison could be resentenced to existing addiction-treatment programs, and nonviolent offenders who behave well and complete certain programs can trim time from their sentences and be paroled more quickly.
The bills also would revamp parole to put more emphasis on supervision during an offender's first year of release.
William DiMascio, executive director of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, said the changes were largely based on measures that have been successful in other states. He said they will help deal with Pennsylvania's burgeoning prison population.
"They're all just right up against it _ they're very crowded, and unless something gets done, you really risk creating bigger problems on the inside," he said.
All four bills passed unanimously or with only a handful of "no" votes, and there was no debate on the measures before final passage.
The legislation drew criticism from Attorney General Tom Corbett, who said Pennsylvania will no longer be a "truth in sentencing" state if defendants do not have to serve their full minimum sentences.
"I am going to take a look at what the crime rate is when that goes into effect, and I want to see what it looks like five years from now," said Corbett, a Republican currently seeking re-election.
House Speaker Dennis O'Brien, who championed the legislation, called it a sea change that will make people safer, reduce crime, save taxpayers money and update existing law.
He said the legislation will result in more information about parole being provided to victims of crime.
"We expect recidivism and recommitment rates to fall, which, all things being equal, will translate into a lower crime rate," said O'Brien, R-Philadelphia. "This is a victim protection plan."
The provisions requiring most sentences of at least two years to be served in state institutions will affect about 450 Philadelphia city jail inmates, he said.
Chuck Ardo, a spokesman for the Democratic governor, said is likely to sign the bills but wants to review the wording of the amended legislation that passed the General Assembly.

heavenknows
09-23-2008, 10:15 PM
Thanks for that info! I always say be thankful for the small victories:) It may seem like we are losing the battle but we won't loose the war ( i hope i said taht right) lol!

heavenknows
09-27-2008, 05:22 PM
Thank God it passed, now for phase #2 when will it take place and hw will they determine who qualifies an dis it retro active? Lots of questions, I am excited and yet still hopeful!:)

Leesamarie63
09-28-2008, 06:57 AM
From what I've read the bill was sent to Govenor Rendell on 9/23/08. I believe he has ten days to sign or veto. Two positives - Rendell appears to be behind the bill and should sign. If for some reason he vetoes, by the numbers of votes cast for the bill in the State House and Senate, they would have enough to overturn the veto.

Nonviolent drug offenders currently in prison could be resentenced to existing addiction-treatment programs, and nonviolent offenders who behave well and complete certain programs can trim time from their sentences and be paroled more quickly.

It does seem that parts of the bill could apply to those already serving.

"The legislation drew criticism from Attorney General Tom Corbett, who said Pennsylvania will no longer be a "truth in sentencing" state if defendants do not have to serve their full minimum sentences.
"I am going to take a look at what the crime rate is when that goes into effect, and I want to see what it looks like five years from now," said Corbett, a Republican currently seeking re-election." :cloud:

As if we didn't need another reason to vote this year - you can be sure that I won't be casting mine for Tom Corbett!

heavenknows
09-28-2008, 09:03 AM
Hey Leesamarie and all others: read under P.A. news and events a post by the Moderator, Bethbupp, Gov. Rendell signed the Reform package on 9/26/08. Horray! now to see when it will take place and who will it affect! Like I said once before Thank God for even the small victories. I'll chat later, running late for church:)

egs
09-28-2008, 08:41 PM
This Bill will be great for those who fit the category for good time/early release. However, the State is still planning on building two new prisons [one already given the ok is a 2,000 bed facility in Fayette] and this Bill provides for moving all those who are sentenced and housed in county jails to go into the State prison system. State prisons, sadly, will remain filled to capacity [and more]. It's a double-edged sword in the grand scheme of things.

Given all the system issues, regulations, new community program contracts, etc.... that need to be put into place, it may be more than a few months before some of the Bill's provisions are instituted.