Bill aims to end parole for repeat violent offenders

    A bill designed to end parole for repeat violent offenders is picking up support. A Pennsylvania state representative says his bill is a response to last year’s slayings of Philadelphia cops by repeat offenders who had been released from prison.

    A bill designed to end parole for repeat violent offenders is picking up support. A Pennsylvania state representative says his bill is a response to last year’s slayings of Philadelphia cops by repeat offenders who had been released from prison.
    Caption: State Representative Brendan Boyle

    Listen:
    [audio: 090609tmoffend.mp3]

    The proposal would increase prison sentences and end early parole for second and third strike offenses for violent criminals. State Representative Brendan Boyle of Northeast Philadelphia authored the bill.

    Boyle: It is tough by lengthening sentences dramatically and by eliminating parole and it is smart because it takes a surgical strike at where the problem lies.

    The bill’s supporters believe the threat of more jail time will be a deterrent to crime. But opponents say longer sentences without rehabilitation ultimately increase the risk to society. Bill DeMassio is with the Pennsylvania Prison Society, a nonprofit group that advocates for prisoners.

    DeMassio: Unfortunately our criminal justice system does not seem to be strategically driven and in the best interest of community safety.

    DeMassio says the parole system works most of the time, and more rehabilitation would be a better option.

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