Court system working to cut Philly prison population

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President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper (left) testified at Philadelphia City Council she is working on expanding electronic monitoring to cut numbers at the city's correctional facilities. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper (left) testified at Philadelphia City Council she is working on expanding electronic monitoring to cut numbers at the city's correctional facilities. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

The Philadelphia Court system is adding some high tech features to streamline the judicial process. 

President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper testified at Philadelphia City Council she is working on expanding electronic monitoring to cut numbers at the city’s correctional facilities.

“If we can increase the number of monitors or move to the GPS, this will increase our ability to release low-level offenders from prison, monitors them in another way and saves prisons for people who need to be there,” she said.

Woods-Skipper says they are also working on using more videoconferencing for routine court matters.

“There also have been times, where we have actually done guilty pleas where an individual is in state custody,” she said. “I think just recently we did a plea where an inmate is in custody in Riker’s [Island], in New York.”

This year Philadelphia won $3.5 million from the MacArthur Foundation to cut its prison population by one third in three years.

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