Pennsylvania Rep. Sheryl Delozier, R-New Cumberland, announced Monday the formation of a new bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Caucus aimed at addressing issues in the state criminal justice system.
A memo was sent to House members Wednesday, and by the end of the day 32 members had joined the caucus, according to a news release issued by Delozier and Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Philadelphia.
The caucuses will look at issues like barriers to employment through occupational licensure, educational opportunies during incarceration, probation and parole and other issues that may hinder the ability of people to successfully reenter society after a criminal conviction.
The House caucus led by Delozier and Harris is joined by a Senate Criminal Justice Reform Caucus led by Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Beaver County, and Sen. Art Haywood, D-Montgomery County.
Delozier was a prime sponsor of the state’s new Clean Slate law, which allows certain criminal records to be sealed from public view to help avoid issues with housing, employment and education.
“As the sponsor of the Clean Slate Law and a long-time victims’ advocate, I am committed to making changes to the criminal justice system that give a strong voice to the rights of the victims and also work to have released offenders become productive members of our communities,” Delozier said in a written statement. “We all have made stupid mistakes. Those mistakes should not define our lives. People deserve a second chance, especially those who have long ago changed their ways.”