OVA has been fully supportive of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative's that have been enacted in the Commonwealth of PA. As two packages of bills in various legislative sessions, these bills allow Pennsylvania to build on efforts that identify inefficiencies, then reinvest those savings into programs and services that have been proven effective in reducing crime and recidivism.
OVA understands that in any aspects of our justice system racial inequities and overarching punitive measures have led to an over incarceration of non-violent offenders. OVA is firmly committed to aiding in the eradication of racial bias and injustice. To that extent, OVA supports common sense reform that allows our system to reduce barriers that keep otherwise non-violent offenders from living a life free from the shackles of the criminal and juvenile justice system. OVA has supported all JRI measures, Clean Slate laws, prison and parole reform, and an elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent offenses.
There is still one outstanding JRI bill that OVA is advocating for - Senate Bill 502. This bill would expand the Crime Victims Act to serve more victims, more effectively, and provide discretion to the compensation program to consider claims that would otherwise be time-barred. This bill also seeks to change the compensation provisions in the current Act due to the denials of vital funding to victims and their families.
Read OVA's position paper on JRI II.