Winning Smart Justice in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is in the midst of a mass incarceration crisis.
With 96,000 people behind bars, Pennsylvania has the highest incarceration rate in the Northeast.
When factoring in people who are on probation or parole, Pennsylvania has the second highest rate of incarceration in the country.
The Campaign for Smart Justice is working to cut by half the number of incarcerated people in our nation's jails and prisons, and to challenge the racism that plagues the criminal legal system.
In Pennsylvania, we are working to achieve these goals in a number of ways, including:
- Reforming probation and parole in the commonwealth | Learn more
- Holding district attorneys accountable to their constituents and communities | Learn more
- Ensuring fair sentencing that avoids harsh penalties, racial biases, and the use of problematic sentencing algorithms | Learn more
- Ending the use of cash bail for pretrial detention | Learn more
With these clear objectives, our work has accelerated since our official campaign launch in June of 2018.
- We sued Philadelphia bail judges to stop them from assigning cash bail in violation of their own rules.
- We participated in a grassroots coalition that stopped the implementation of what would have been a flawed risk assessment tool at sentencing.
- We released a report exposing the overuse of money bail in Allegheny County.
- We released a report showing how the rapid expansion of the Pennsylvania crimes code accelerates and perpetuates mass incarceration.
- We published a blueprint detailing how we can reduce incarceration and challenge racism in Pennsylvania.
- We launched a website to educate Pennsylvania voters about the vast powers of district attorneys.
… and the work continues.