January 11, 2019, Katie Meyer - WITF
Pennsylvania’s incarcerated population is shrinking — down by more than 1,000 people over last year. That’s great news to the increasingly bipartisan coalition that’s trying to both keep people free and cut down corrections costs.
When the Corrections Department released numbers showing the number of inmates in state prison had fallen, one of the groups trumpeting that news was the conservative Commonwealth Foundation.
Vice president and former state House Republican Stephen Bloom acknowledged that a lot of Republicans have been cautious about easing penalties on people who commit crimes.
But he said since recent reform has reduced prison numbers, saved the state money, and crime is still falling, it’s clearly working to make sentences shorter and focus more on anti-recidivism efforts.
“Certainly, among conservatives that I speak to it seems that there is more support today for criminal justice reform than there was six or seven years ago,” Bloom said. “I’m very optimistic.”