ACLU-PA Position: Opposes
Pennsylvania's probation system is archaic and excessively punitive. As one of only seven states that doesn't limit the amount of time someone can be sentenced to probation, Pennsylvania's system is in desperate need of fundamental, structural reform.
Unfortunately, SB 913 not only fails to meaningfully reform our broken probation system, it risks making probation worse in Pennsylvania by making dangerous changes to current law that will likely result in more people incarcerated after violating probation, longer pretrial incarceration for probation detainers, and keeping poor people on probation indefinitely until they can pay their restitution in full. The bill’s only solution to reducing time on probation is a convoluted process to get a review hearing—one that is narrowly accessible, confusing to navigate, and riddled with exceptions. Early termination of probation is an outcome far easier to attain under current law.