This summer, the PA House Judiciary Committee voted to advance a package of six anti-prisoner bills that target currently incarcerated people, persons facing charges, and their families for additional financial penalties. Decarcerate PA is working to fight these bills, which may go up for a floor vote within weeks, and we need your help!
One bill would automatically deduct 75% of the funds that family members deposit in their loved ones’ commissary accounts and garnish 25% percent of prisoners’ wages (which are currently between 19 and 42 cents/hour). Another bill would nearly double the minimum penalty cost for a person who is convicted of a crime or is placed in a diversionary program from $60 to $110. People who are incarcerated are required to pay this money before they are eligible for parole. Inability to pay means people are kept in prison for months or even years after they would otherwise be released (at a huge cost to themselves and the state). You can read more about all six bad bills here.
We will be having a call-in day on September 16th asking our legislators to vote against these bills. On that same day, Decarcerate PA will be visiting with lawmakers at the State Capitol. If you can participate in either way, please do! Your lawmakers need to hear from you.
Please make these calls on September 16th:
1.Call your representatives. Look up their names and contact information here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/
2.Call the House Judiciary Chairs:
· Rep. Ron Marsico (Majority Chair) - (717) 783-2014
· Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (Minority Chair) - (717) 787-3525
Not sure what to say? We’ve created some call scripts you can use as a guide. Find them here: http://decarceratepa.info/bad-bills-phone-scripts
We will also be visiting legislators in person that day. Want to join us in Harrisburg? If so, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at: 267.217.3372
Thanks! Together we can stop these destructive bills from becoming a reality for Pennsylvania prisoners and their families.
Want to help spread the word? You can download and distribute flyers to encourage others to take a stand against these bills here.