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Monthly Archives: March 2014

How Earned Time Programs for Inmates Are Helping Pennsylvania

Earned time is a concept taking shape in many states across the country to achieve important goals within state correctional systems, including: Reducing recidivism Managing growth in prison populations Improving living and working conditions in state prisons Controlling costs of incarceration Maintaining public safety In 2008, Pennsylvania enacted legislation allowing some inmates to shave as […]

Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine Allows You to Stand Your Ground

In 2011, Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett signed legislation amending the commonwealth’s laws of self-defense to strengthen the Castle Doctrine for home invasions and “stand your ground” for altercations in public places. There are many misconceptions about the principle behind “stand your ground,” especially in light of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case during which the media […]

When Does a Person Lose the Right to Self-Defense?

This is a tricky question. Naturally, a person does not have the right to self-defense when acting unlawfully and threatening harm to an innocent party. A person cannot claim self-defense after robbing another at gunpoint if the victim also pulls out a weapon. However, are there circumstances where a victim who initially has a right […]

How PA Sentencing Reforms Affect Nonviolent, Drug-Addicted Offenders

In July 2012, the Pennsylvania legislature passed Senate Bill 100 to address how the commonwealth correctional system handles nonviolent offenders with drug and alcohol addictions. This was a welcome move away from harsh minimum sentences. The reforms included: Risk assessments guidelines instituted to help courts separate high-risk offenders appropriate for state prison from lower-risk offenders […]


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