For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 13

change is found in 61 Pa.C.S.A. § 6137.1 (b):
Approval of parole. The board shall, without
requiring an interview, approve for parole a
person eligible for short sentence parole under
this section at the expiration of the person's
minimum date or recidivism risk reduction
incentive minimum date, whichever is shorter.
If the person was committed to the department
after expiration of the person's minimum
date, the board shall approve the person for
parole within 30 days after commitment to the
department.
To be eligible, one must have a minimum aggregate
sentence, or RRRI minimum, of 2 years or less.9
This short sentence parole provision comes with
a long list of exclusions, however. Among the list
are frequent fliers of exclusionary clauses, such as
those convicted of crimes of violence, those subject
to sex offense registration, and those with deadly
weapons enhancements.10 Major disciplinary action
while incarcerated and any pending felony charges
also renders one ineligible.11 Those expelled from the
State drug treatment program are not eligible for
short sentence parole.12 As a catchall, the exclusions
also include the ability of the Board to exclude those
it deems to pose "identifiable threats to safety" or
where release would "jeopardize the rehabilitative
needs of the individual."13
The Board will use a risk and needs assessment to
establish initial conditions of parole. Time will tell
whether the state sees the full scale of the reduced
incarceration rates-and related savings-anticipated
from the addition of short sentence parole where
many will fail to meet the requisites of inclusion.
Nonetheless, there are reasons to remain cautiously

optimistic that short parole will assist many with
low-level, non-violent convictions to return to the
community sooner.

Reentry Supervision
And now for something completely different: Those
who have an aggregate minimum of four or more
years of total incarceration are subject to a mandatory
period of one year of consecutive reentry supervision.17
It does appear from the somewhat murky language of
this provision that any release on parole while serving
out the relevant term of total incarceration will relieve
an individual of this obligation.18 For those who
remain incarcerated to their maximum term of total
incarceration, however, this provision will add time
to their sentence. An important and saddening note
here: the additional year of reentry supervision applies
even where individuals remain incarcerated for the
entirety of the statutory maximum. Section 6137.2 (f)
reads: "The court shall impose reentry supervision in
addition to the maximum sentence permitted for the
offense for which the defendant was convicted."

The Program Formerly Known as
Intermediate Punishment
In a move aimed at addressing the underutilization
of state and county intermediate punishment, Act 115
undertook a significant restructuring. The Act removes
intermediate punishment as a sentencing option
altogether.19 Instead, as described below, sentencing
courts may make a determination of eligibility for the
State drug program and impose restrictive conditions
to a sentence of probation.

EXCLUSIONS TO SHORT PAROLE14
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Personal injury crimes
Crimes of violence
18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 charges (re: firearms/dangerous articles)
Deadly weapon enhancement (proven or prior)
18 Pa.C.S. § 4302(a) (re: incest)
18 Pa.C.S. § 5901 (re: open lewdness)
18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 76 Subch. C (re: internet child pornography)
Sentences under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9712.1 (re: drug offenses committed with firearms)
Offenses listed under 42 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 97 Subch. H or I (re: SORNA/Megan's Law)
Drug trafficking
Pending charges where conviction would render the person ineligible
Persons serving state sentence who were denied parole on that sentence
Persons convicted of criminal offense while incarcerated
Any person who, according to the Board, poses an "identifiable threat to public
safety," or whose inclusion would substantially jeopardize the rehabilitative needs of
the person."15
Those with major disciplinary actions while incarcerated
Those with pending felony charges (but may be paroled to a detainer on felony charge)
Those expelled from the State drug treatment program 16

Vol. 5, Issue 1 l For The Defense

13



For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1

Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 1
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 2
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 4
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 5
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 6
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 7
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 8
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 9
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 10
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 11
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 12
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 13
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 14
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 15
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 16
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 17
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 18
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 19
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 20
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For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 24
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For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 44
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol5_issue4_2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pacdl/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol2_issue3_2017
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pacdl/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol2_issue1_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue4_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue3_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue2_2016
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