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Act 323 of 1941
Created a 5-member Pennsylvania Board of Parole and set forth its power and duties.
Act 324 of 1943
Reduced the number of Board Members from 5 to 3. Required Board to consider recommendations of judge, DA and warden. Gave the Pardons Board the power to parole commutees to whom the Board refused parole. Transferred to Courts the power to parole prisoners sentenced to serve prison terms of 1 year to 2 year less one day and created special parole.
Act 512 of 1947
Obsolete. Increased the salary of the Board members and the district supervisors for districts including counties of first and second class.
Act 337 of 1951
Provided that recommitted direct violators must be denied credit for time at liberty and that recommitted technical violators must be denied credit for delinquent time and for the order of service of sentences for recommitted direct violators.
Act 495 of 1951
Obsolete. Required Board to frequently review for parole offenders sentenced to prison terms of one day to life for certain crimes involving sex.
Act 418 of 1953
Obsolete. Empowered the Board to terminate the imprisonment of offenders sentenced to the Pennsylvania Industrial School at Camp Hill.
Act 246 of 1955
Empowers Chairman to appoint deputies to return parole and probation violators from other States.
Act 235 of 1957
Clarifies Act 337 of 1951.
Act 248 of 1957
Removed salary caps for Board Secretary and District Supervisors.
Act 655 of 1959
Parole agents, enforcement officers, and investigators of the Board will be paid their full salary rates if injured while on duty. The medical and hospital bills will be paid in full.
Act 471 of 1965
Requires Board to make pre-sentence investigation reports upon Court request.
Act 501 of 1965
Changed name of Board to “Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole” and increased membership of Board from 3 to 5. Imposed duty on Chairman to direct Board operations in accordance with policies and procedures established by the Board. Created grant-in-aid program for counties.
Act 503 of 1965
Obsolete. DPW must operate mental health units in Board’s larger district offices.
Act 207 of 1968
Obsolete. Empowered Board to hold parole hearings for prisoners incarcerated in Pennsylvania under the old interstate compact.
Act 257 of 1976
Obsolete. Increased the salary of Board Members.
Act 134 of 1986
Removed salary caps for Board Members. Board Members previously required a two-thirds confirmation vote of the Senate. Act 134 changed this to a simple majority. Established eligibility requirements for appointment to the Board of at least 6 years of professional experience in parole, probation, social work or related areas and a bachelor’s degree, or any equivalent combination of experience and training. Clearly conferred upon the Board Chairman the authority to organize, staff, control, direct and administer the work of Board staff. Authorized panels of a Board Member and a hearing examiner or two Board Members to make parole decisions. Previously, the entire Board had to vote on every action. Specified that the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate would each appoint a member from their respective Houses to sit on the Advisory Committee on Probation. Previously, the Parole Act only required two members of the General Assembly. Required the Board to establish the Citizens Advisory Committee. Required the Board to establish “by regulation” uniform statewide standards for pre-sentence investigations, the supervision of probationers, etc. Set the grant-in-aid formula for county probation personnel costs at 80%, however, if insufficient funds are appropriated each county shall receive a prorated reduction in grant-in-aid funds. Required the Board to consider an offender’s history of family violence and victim’s statements in determining parole decisions.
Act 97 of 1989
Prohibited the Board from releasing a person on parole unless the prisoner achieved a negative drug test result within one week prior to release. Required the Board to establish mandatory drug tests as a continuing condition of parole for those convicted of drug-related crimes or who tested positive for the presence of a controlled substance as an inmate. Required parolees to pay for the drug screenings.
Act 4 of 1990
Amended the definition of the crime of “Aggravated Assault” to include an attempt or actual assault on a Board parole agent.
Act 114 of 1990
Required the Board to pay for inmates’ pre-parole drug screening.
Act 35 of 1991
Established a non-lapsing fund paid into by inmates for victims’ compensation and technical support. Also established the County Offender Supervision Fund and the State Offender Supervision Fund. Required courts to impose a $25 monthly supervision fee on offenders placed on probation or parole and required the Board to impose a similar fee on offenders already on parole unless the court or Board made a finding that the offender is unable to pay. Monetary receipts of counties under this Act are equally split between the two Funds, and are to be used for the improvement of adult probation services. This material is found in Section 477.20 of the Administrative Code of 1929.
Act 155 of 1992
Greatly expanded the Bill of Rights of Crime Victims, which included a provision for crime victim participation in post-sentencing proceedings.
Act 25 of 1993
Amended the Board of Probation and Parole Law amended in 1990, which prohibited the Board from releasing a person on parole unless the prisoner achieved a negative drug test result, required the Board to establish mandatory drug tests as a continuing condition of parole for those convicted of drug-related crimes or who tested positive for the presence of a controlled substance as an inmate and required parolees to pay for the drug screenings. The drug tests were to be given within one week of release from prison this act requires that the drug tests be given not later than fifteen days nor earlier than forty five days.
Act 158 of 1994
Established the County Probation and Parole Officers’ Firearm Education and Training Commission.
Act 159 of 1994
Amended the Board of Probation and Parole Law. Drug tests given in prison prior to release are required to be administered within forty-five days.
Act 8 of 1995 (Special Session 1)
Established the Office of Victim Advocate to represent the interests of crime victims before the Board and the Department of Corrections.
Act 16 of 1995 (Special Session 1)
Removed the amendatory language added by Act 324 of 1943 that had granted the Pardons Board the power to parole commutees to whom the Board refused parole.
Act 24 of 1995 (Special Session 1)
The State Board to Assess Sexually Violent Predators (a predecessor to the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board) was established by law. The Board of Probation and Parole was directed by this Act to provide support to the new Board.
Act 27 of 1995 (Special Session 1)
Established the Bureau of Victims Services within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and empowered it with certain duties and responsibilities.
Act 35 of 1995 (Special Session 1)
Expressly authorized State parole and county probation and parole officers to conduct searches of the persons and property of parolees for contraband or other evidence of violations of the conditions of supervision.
Act 37 of 1995 (Special Session 1)
Authorized the Board to enter into contracts which provide for continuous electronic monitoring of parolees and to establish and provide for intensive supervision units and day reporting centers.
Act 46 of 1996
Clarified and strengthened certain portions of Megan’s Law, including the authorization to apply it to out-of-state offenders.
Act 164 of 1996
Revised the preamble to the Parole Act for the first time since its 1941 inception to state that, “…the Board shall first and foremost seek to protect the safety of the public.” Increased the size of the Board from five to nine members. Established that “...the board shall not be required to consider nor dispose of an application for parole by a prisoner or his attorney where a parole decision has been issued on that case within one year of the date of the current application for parole.”
Act 66 of 1998
When the Board releases a parolee from a State or local correctional facility the county probation department must be notified in writing of the release and the new address of the parolee.
Act 84 of 1998
Commonly known as the “inmate restitution and information exchange bill.” It specified crime victim restitution procedures and provided for timely exchanges of relevant offender background information as he or she moves from one level of the criminal justice system to another.
Act 111 of 1998
Codified all victims’ rights in one freestanding act, the Crime Victims Act. This legislation lists the rights of crime victims to receive certain services, including compensation for losses suffered because of a crime and the right to be notified of and participate in legal proceeding pertaining to their case.
Act 143 of 1998
Changed the requirement that sentencing courts had to transmit a full and complete copy of the record upon which sentence was imposed to a copy of the notes of testimony of the sentencing hearing. Act 143 streamlined and simplified the factors and criteria the Board was obliged to consider in evaluating a parole case. It also specified that parole shall be subject in every instance to the Commonwealth’s right to immediately retake and hold in custody without further proceedings any parolee charged with an additional offense until a determination can be made whether to continue his parole status. Act 143 further specified that those serving a sentence for crimes of violence under 42 PA C.S. 9714 (g) (relating to sentences for second and subsequent offenses) cannot be paroled unless the offender has received instruction from the DOC on the impact of crime on victims and the community. Lastly, Act 143 made it a crime for a parolee from another State to live in Pennsylvania in violation of the Interstate Compact Act.
Act 171 of 1998
Updated the Parole Act’s Interstate Compact Law requirements with respect to Megan’s Law.
Act 18 of 2000
Revised Megan’s Law to reflect our Supreme Court’s constitutional concerns expressed in Commonwealth v. Williams. The Sexual Offenders Assessment Board was created, replacing the State Board to Assess Sexually Violent Predators.
Act 86 of 2000
Applied victim’s rights through the Office of Victim Advocate to crimes committed by juveniles. Required the return of property to victims once it was no longer needed for prosecution. Raised the required crime victims’ fee to be paid by inmates to $40.00.
Act 98 of 2000
Made sex offenders ineligible for parole unless their minimum prison sentence had been completed, they had participated in a Department of Corrections program of counseling and therapy for sex offenders, and they agreed to comply with any special conditions of parole for sex offender counseling.
Act 30 of 2001
Provided for additional responsibilities and new members to serve on the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, including the Chairman of the Board of Probation and Parole.
Act 46 of 2001
Required the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to prepare a prison population impact analysis of any bill at the request of any legislative committee chairman within 45 days of that request in consultation with the Department of Corrections, the Board of Probation and Parole, and the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.
Act 90 of 2001
Increased penalties for tampering with victims, witnesses, and jurors.
Act 108 of 2001
Amended the Parole Act to require the membership of at least one Chief County Probation Officer on the Board’s Advisory Committee on Probation.
Act 56 of 2002
Replaces the former Interstate Compact for the Supervision of Adult Offenders with a new one. Pennsylvania was the 35th State to enact the new Compact, which put it into force nationwide.
Act 57 of 2002
Reestablished the State DNA Data Bank with an expanded list of crimes that require the drawing of a DNA sample prior to inmate release. Required those incarcerated on the effective date of the Act to comply regardless of when their sentences began. Authorized duly authorized law enforcement and corrections personnel to use reasonable force to obtain a DNA sample.
Act 84 of 2002
Amended 18 Pa.C.S. § 4957 (Protection of Employment of Crime Victims and Witnesses) to include victim’s families, as defined in Section 103 of the Crime Victims Act, rather than just victims and witnesses, as previous law held. Section 4957 prohibits employers from depriving an employee of his employment, seniority position or benefits, or threatening or otherwise coercing him with respect thereto, because the employee attends court by reason of being a victim of, or a witness to, a crime.
Act 85 of 2002
Created the Office of Victim’s Services within the PCCD and made several revisions to victim-related rights and services, including applicability to crimes committed against a person outside of the United States, an expanded list of expenses eligible for reimbursement, and the establishment of a victim’s right to have input prior to an offender’s sentence to Boot Camp. Raised the required crime victims payment fee by inmates to $60.00.
Act 86 of 2002
Authorized victims of childhood sexual abuse to initiate civil proceedings against the alleged offender up to 12 years after the victim turns 18, regardless of whether a criminal complaint is filed. The Act also authorized the initiation of criminal proceedings up to twelve years after the offense occurred when the charge is Rape, Statutory Sexual Assault, IDSI, Sexual Assault, Aggravated Indecent Assault, Incest, or Sexual Abuse of Children.
Act 109 of 2002
Provided for post-conviction DNA testing at the inmate’s request under certain circumstances.
Act 121 of 2002
Amended the Crime Victim's Act to authorize the presentation of oral and videotaped testimony prior to a release decision and authorized victims or their representatives to provide testimony to members of the Parole Board and/or hearing examiners by conference call. Prior law required statements to be presented in written form or in-person.
Act 127 of 2002
Encouraged greater restraint by the media regarding the identities and addresses of victims and witnesses who are minors and expanded Megan’s Law offender registration reporting responsibilities to the State Police to include offenders’ places of employment and education. Under prior law, offenders were only required to report where they resided.
Act 144 of 2002
Authorized awards under the Crime Victims Act to those who file civil actions against an offender via a Protection from Abuse Order, whereas prior law restricted awards to only those who filed criminal complaints.
Act 146 of 2002
Established the Targeted Community Revitalization and Crime Prevention Advisory Committee to assist the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency with crime prevention and revitalization efforts in Weed and Seed-targeted communities. This law named the Chairman of the Board of Probation and Parole as a member of the advisory committee.
Act 215 of 2002
Authorizes Board to access juvenile criminal records and provides for the immunity of State parole officers who have pre-approval from their supervisors for specific operations while assisting other criminal justice agencies in the lawful performance of their duties. Also specified that State parole agents are acting within the scope of their official duties while they are providing assistance to crime victims.
Act 21 of 2003
Imposes duties on the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board and others relating to the involuntary civil commitment of certain sexually violent persons (juveniles) after they otherwise would be required to be released by law due to reaching adulthood.
Act 24 of 2003
Revised the state’s DUI law (Chapter 38 of Title 75, Vehicle Code). This law created a three-tier penalty system based on B.A.C. and prior offenses, reduces the per se B.A.C. level from .10 to .08, requires ignition interlock on second offense DUI’s, increases the look-back period for prior offenses from seven years to ten years, and changes the way paroling authority is exercised over DUI offenders.
Act 61 of 2003
Clarified that the civil immunity conferred on State parole agents and county probation officers under Act 215 of 2002 also applies when assisting federal agents and all other law enforcement officers.
Act 152 of 2004
Provides for a number of amendments to Megan’s Law. This act established new penalties for offenders who fail to properly register under Megan’s Law; gives the public access to the name, county, zip code, and photograph of every registered sexual offender via the Internet; gives the pubic access to the address of all residences and work places of sexually violent predators via the Internet; requires all members of “common interest communities” to be notified when a sexually violent predator moves into the community; requires the Attorney General to perform an annual performance audit of Megan’s Law compliance by a number of state agencies; and requires the State Police to notify local law enforcement agencies when registered offenders move from on municipality to another.
Act 176 of 2004
This bill provides for revisions to the public availability of juvenile criminal records and amends standards for discharging a person confined under Act 21 of 2003, relating to sexually violent delinquent children being held in civil confinement beyond the age of majority.
Act 177 of 2004
Amends the DUI law. Two “technical” amendments clarified DUI-related parole decision-making and supervision issues that had been unclear. The first amendment of interest removes nearly all of the maximum sentences that were specifically imposed under Act 24. The second amendment creates a new requirement that “The sentencing judge shall declare his intention to retain parole authority and supervision at the time of sentencing in cases in which he would not otherwise have parole authority and supervision.”
Act 185 of 2004
Requires persons convicted of any felony offense or certain misdemeanor sex offenses who are currently incarcerated or on probation or parole for a current or past felony or misdemeanor sex offense to submit a DNA sample to the State’s DNA database. Previously, only certain violent offenders and sex offenders were required to submit DNA samples. Act 185 also authorizes the prosecution of an offense one year after DNA evidence identifies a perpetrator if the statute of limitation would have otherwise expired.
Act 233 of 2004
Requires county prisons to supply inmates going to State or county probation or parole with a supply of current medications and any customary and necessary medical supplies.
Act 30 of 2005
Creates the offense of “Disarming a Law Enforcement Officer.” A person commits the offense of disarming a law enforcement officer if he: without lawful authorization, removes or attempts to remove a firearm, rifle, shotgun or weapon from the person of a law enforcement officer or corrections officer, or deprives a law enforcement officer or corrections officer of the use of a firearm, rifle, shotgun or weapon, when the officer is acting within the scope of the officer's duties; and he has reasonable cause to know or knows that the individual is a law enforcement officer or corrections officer. This offense is graded a felony of the third degree and is found in § 5104.1 of the Crimes Code, 18 Pa. C.S. § 5104.1.
Act 59 of 2005
Revises the “Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefits Act.” Parole supervision staff who qualify as peace officers have been covered by this Act since its inception. Under the 2005 amendments, the death benefit was raised from $50,000 to $100,000 (to be adjusted for inflation every year.) The amendments also extended the benefit to encompass a fatal heart attack or stroke while on duty or not later than 24 hours after participating in a physical training exercise or responding to an emergency.
Act 79 of 2005
“The Retired Law Enforcement Officer Identification Act.” This law establishes state procedures to carry out the federal “Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004.” In tandem, these laws allow certain retired and active duty law enforcement officers to carry firearms across state lines, provided they possess proper, agency-issued identification and ongoing firing range certification.
Act 36 of 2006
Authorizes the establishment of victim impact panels for DUI offenders, which are to be administered through “the local office of probation and parole or other office as the court shall determine…”
Act 100 of 2006
Authorizes the PA Interstate Compact Council to impose a mandatory minimum application fee of up to $150 for each outgoing State and county Interstate Compact application made by an inmate/parolee/probationer. The Board (or the court of record, in the case of traditional probationers and those otherwise under the paroling jurisdiction of the court) may reduce, defer, or waive this fee based on an offender’s present inability to pay. Counties shall be entitled to retain a certain percentage of each application fee collected. The (PA Interstate Compact) State Council has met and has set the application fee at $100, which is non-refundable regardless of the results following the receiving State’s home plan investigation. A new $100 fee must accompany each subsequent application. Funds collected are to be credited to the general government operations of the Board for expenses incurred in the administration of the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision.
Act 143 of 2006
Requires the State Police to post the street address of offenders listed on Megan’s Law website, among other provisions.
Act 178 of 2006
Explicitly authorizes the Board to impose specific conditions of supervision for certain sex offenders, including GPS, and requires the Board to apply for federal funding as provided in the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-248, 120 stat. 587) to support and enhance programming using satellite global positioning system technology.
Acts 81 – 84 of 2008
Commonly called the “prison package”, these four laws are designed to work together and support various public policy goals to: reduce county jail overcrowding and relieve the pressure to release jail inmates; shift the burden for incarceration and treatment of serious offenders from the county system to the state system; improve parole practices to ensure that public and victim safety is the primary consideration and ensure consistency and fairness; improve offender treatment through centralized programs, administrative support, and specialized expertise; ensure truth-in-sentencing for the victim, the public and the offender; provide incentives for non-violent offenders to participate in evidence-based rehabilitative programs proven to reduce the recidivism risk; improve inmate safety through the improved exchange of information between the county and state system; provide for compassionate release of terminally ill inmates with appropriate safeguards; and reduce taxpayer costs through the centralization of treatment programs and prisoner transportation.
Act 81 and Act 83 impact the Board. Act 81 provides for Recidivism Risk Reduction Incentive (RRRI) Program designed to ensure that nonviolent prisoners participate in evidence-based programs proven to reduce recidivism. There are limits on eligibility, limits on the types of programs that can be approved, additional public safety protections, requirements for published guidelines and regulations, reports, evaluations, and an educational plan.
Act 83 of 2008 authorized “rebuttable parole” which allows for the presumptive parole of non-violent prisoners who meet the Recidivism Risk Reduction Incentive (RRRI) eligibility standards. These prisoners will be eligible for presumptive parole at the expiration of their minimum sentences if they have maintained a good conduct record in prison, they don’t pose a public safety risk, and there is an adequate parole plan.
Act 83 also authorizes the Board to implement Administrative Parole. Administrative parole allows the Board to reduce reporting requirements to at least once per year for certain classes of non-violent offenders who have been successfully managed for a period of time on parole.
Act 15 of 2009
Amends Section 6312 of the Crimes Code (relating to Sexual Abuse of Children) to ensure that people who “intentionally view” such materials are covered by the Act.
Act 33 of 2009
Codified Title 61, Penal and Correctional Institutions, effective October 13, 2009.
Act 51 of 2009
Amends the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefits Act to provide for 90 days’ notice of a triggering event requiring certification to the Commonwealth, rather than 30 days, adds minor children as eligible survivors in the event there is no surviving spouse, and provides eligible survivors with a monthly pension equal to the monthly pay of the deceased. All amounts are adjusted for inflation.
Act 30 of 2010
Authorizes the establishment of Problem Solving Courts, which have specialized jurisdiction, including, but not limited to, drug courts, mental health courts and driving under the influence courts, whereby defendants are admitted to a court- supervised individualized treatment program. The court may adopt local rules for the administration of problem solving courts and their related treatment services. The local rules must be consistent with this section or any rules established by the Supreme Court.
Act 69 of 2010
Provides the Office of Attorney General with the clear authority to investigate alleged instances of the offense of “Corruption of Minors” in cases involving more than one county and in cases which cross Pennsylvania state lines.
Act 95 of 2010
Among other provisions primarily affecting the DOC’s state intermediate punishment program, Evidence-Based Practices (EBP’s) at the Commission on Sentencing, and the DOC’s authority to establish standards for county jails and inmate-made products, for example, this bill will: 1) Require the Board to work with the Sentencing Commission and the DOC to monitor and report to both chambers’ judiciary committees on the RRRI program every other year, including recidivism rates and recommendations for improvement. 2) Require the Board to periodically update and test its parole decisional instrument as deemed necessary. The decisional instrument must incorporate EBP’s. 3) Require the Board to incorporate EBP’s into its decision making and supervision practices and conduct outcome and performance analyses as to the level of recidivism reduction achieved. 4) Authorize the Board to release non-violent offenders to continuing treatment and programming outside of the institution. 5) Authorize the Board to charge all parolees, not just those who were convicted of committing drug offenses or who tested positive for drugs while in prison, for the cost of drug tests. 6) Reduce from 60 days to 30 days the amount of time prosecuting attorneys and the courts have to respond to RRRI-objection notices. 7) Require convicted parole violators (CPV) to serve their original Pennsylvania sentence prior to a new federal or out-of-state sentence. 8) Requires the Board to utilize a graduated violation sanctioning process including community-based alternatives with respect to TPV’s and to “…divert (TPV’s) from confinement in a (SCI) unless the parolee’s diversion poses an undue risk to public safety.” 9) Reinstates the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision application fee and associated disposition of funds.
Also included in Act 95 are victim confidentiality requirements at the DOC; the authorization of parole violation centers; and clarification that PBPP personnel are to jointly develop prescriptive programming requirements with DOC staff at the time of classification.
Act 111 of 2011 and 91 of 2012
Bring Pennsylvania into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. It requires offenders convicted of certain sexual crimes to register with the Pennsylvania State Police. All offenders convicted of these offenses living, working, volunteering, going to school or itinerant in Pennsylvania must register. The acts allow the community to access information about offenders who register with the Pennsylvania State Police via the public information website. The acts provide punishment for offenders convicted of certain sexual crimes who fail to register with the Pennsylvania State Police, and proscribe court ordered non-voluntary treatment for offenders convicted of certain sexually violent crimes. The acts expand the responsibility of PBPP to include updating and verifying the registry information for offenders under the board’s supervision.
Act 122 of 2012
Reforms the Pennsylvania prison system and calls for a halt to new prison development. Instead, it implements the first phase of Pennsylvania’s 2012 Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), which seeks to expand the tools available for crime prevention and offender reformation. JRI increases comprehensive community reentry, helping offenders get back on their feet and become productive citizens. Act 122 expands the use of community corrections centers for parole violators. Act 122 provides that technical parole violators are not returned to prison unless their violation is severe and that those who are committed to prison are automatically re-paroled if they have no significant prison infractions, have complied with prison programming, and have not been convicted of a new criminal offense. In this way, by increasing the threshold for state incarceration, Act 122 encourages treatment and rehabilitation of less serious offenders by providing for placement in community corrections facilities rather than state prison and by eliminating the prison pre-release program and jail time for crimes below a misdemeanor of the third degree.
Act 196 of 2012
The act implements the second phase of Pennsylvania’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative by providing for the creation of justice reinvestment grants to facilitate the reforms created by Act 122.
Act 204 of 2012
Changes sentencing law in Pennsylvania to create a tiered sentencing scheme for juveniles convicted of first and second degree murder, by providing for an individual assessment of the juvenile and the circumstances of the crime. It replaces former Pennsylvania law that mandated life in prison without parole sentences for juveniles convicted of first and second degree murder.
Act 14 of 2013
Amends the Crime Victims Act to allow victims or their representatives to testify in person before the PBPP before it decides whether to release an offender from prison.