A bill signed yesterday by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett seeks to divert non-violent, addicted offenders from state prison by better treating their addiction issues at the local level, reports the Harrisburg Patriot-News. The law provides for evidence-based practices in county probation departments in line with a program that has proved successful in Hawaii.
The overall estimated savings of various reform recommendations was projected to top $250 million over five years. Most of that would be reinvested back into local communities for improved law enforcement and evidence-based treatment. Arguably the most important component recommended by a “justice reinvestment” committee— the mechanism for returning money to local jurisdictions — still awaits action in the legislature. “Failing to pass both pieces limits the effectiveness and delays significant savings,” said Katrina Currie of the Commonwealth Foundation.