PDAA Responds to COVID-19 Executive Order Regarding State Prisons

April 10, 2020

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association today released the following statement in response to Governor Tom Wolf’s executive order to release up to 1,800 inmates in the state prisons to stop COVID-19 spread:

“District Attorneys throughout Pennsylvania have taken action to responsibly address the health risks of COVID-19 in jails, prisons and youth centers.

The health issues presented by COVID-19 need to be addressed in state correctional facilities.

We appreciate that the Department of Corrections (DOC) worked with us to help formulate a legislative response that developed a process to identify non-violent offenders, provide for supervision, and allow for the determinative input of the district attorney and sentencing judge.

Because this action has now been undertaken by Executive Order, the DOC’s serious consideration of comments by prosecuting attorneys and the courts in its decision-making process will best ensure public safety.

We understand that DOC has already begun reaching out to local district attorneys for their input.

By no means is this an ideal situation. Reentry is most successful when inmates complete treatment and counseling programs and have a full plan in place to return to their communities. We hope to return to a more ideal situation for public safety in the near future.”

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April 10, 2020

Contact: Lindsay Vaughan, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association lvaughan@pdaa.org or (717) 238-5416.