Philadelphia DA plans to end ‘mass supervision’ by cutting length of probation and parole

By Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal | March 22, 2019

Stoneleigh Fellow Sangeeta Prasad is quoted in an American Bar Association Journal article about her work with the Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s Office to end the practice of seeking lengthy probation and parole sentences.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced Thursday that his office will seek lower terms of probation and parole when making sentencing recommendations and negotiating plea deals.

Krasner already has sought shorter sentences, charged crimes at a lower level, and reduced reliance on cash bail for low-level offenses. Now he hopes to address “mass supervision” of people on probation and parole, report Philly.com, the Philadelphia Tribune, Fox 29 and NBC Philadelphia. A summary is here

Sangeeta Prasad, a fellow at the Stoneleigh Foundation who works in Krasner’s office on parole and probation issues, told the ABA Journal how Pennsylvania law can lead to high rates of supervised release.

Defendants in the state receive a minimum and maximum sentence. When they are released from prison, any time left to reach the maximum sentence is served on parole. Sometimes, a parole period is followed by probation, known as a probationary “tail.”

Krasner is asking prosecutors to request no more than three years of total supervision for felonies, except when state law requires a longer period.

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