Winning Smart Justice in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is in the midst of a mass incarceration crisis.
When factoring in people who are on probation or parole, Pennsylvania has the second highest rate of incarceration in the country.
It’s far past time to reform the criminal legal system and challenge the racism that plagues that system.
The ACLU of Pennsylvania’s Campaign for Smart Justice seeks to achieve these goals in a number of ways. These include:
- Reforming probation and parole in the commonwealth.
- Holding district attorneys accountable to their constituents and communities.
- Ensuring fair sentencing that avoids harsh penalties, racial biases, and the use of problematic sentencing algorithms.
- Ending the use of cash bail for pretrial detention.
With these clear objectives, our work has accelerated since our official campaign launch in June of 2018.
- We sued Philadelphia bail judges to stop them from assigning cash bail in violation of their own rules.
- We participated in a grassroots coalition that stopped the implementation of what would have been a flawed risk assessment tool at sentencing.
- We helped organize and participated in a number of lobby days in Harrisburg in support of probation reform in Pennsylvania.
- We released a report exposing the overuse of money bail in Allegheny County.
- We released a report showing how the rapid expansion of the Pennsylvania crimes code accelerates and perpetuates mass incarceration.
- We published a blueprint detailing how we can reduce incarceration and challenge racism in Pennsylvania.
- We launched a website to educate Pennsylvania voters about the vast powers of district attorneys.
… and so much more.