HARRISBURG, Pa. (August 28, 2019) – Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association (PSCOA) President Larry Blackwell today issued the following statement on an internal investigation released by the state Department of Corrections (DOC):
“While we cannot comment on a report we only just received, the PSCOA reiterates its call for an independent examination into Pennsylvania’s parole process. A recent spate of murders allegedly committed by parolees demands our commonwealth do more than just trust the DOC to address these horrific crimes. The department’s contention that the number of murders allegedly committed by parolees has been consistent isn’t a defense; it’s a condemnation of a system that is letting too many violent criminals out of prison and putting Pennsylvanians at risk.
“The loss of one life is one too many. Pennsylvania shouldn’t ignore an inmate’s violent history simply because they learn how to game the system to make parole. Separately, we understand inmates are being coached on what to say in their parole hearings. We also understand that parole officers are being told not to bring parole violators back to jail for violations. Serious consideration must be given to slowing down the parole process until a thorough, independent review can be completed. Lives of innocent Pennsylvanians depend on it.”
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About the PSCOA
PSCOA proudly represents more than 10,000 men and women who patrol cellblocks and serve in our 26 state correctional institutions and forensic units. These corrections professionals stand between those who are incarcerated – including the most violent and dangerous criminals – and our communities.