Lorraine Haw has received three Mother’s Day cards in the last three days, all from the same place: the State Correctional Institution at Smithfield.
It’s at the state prison four hours away in the Allegheny Mountains where her son, Phillip Ocampo, is serving a life sentence without the chance of parole on second degree murder charges stemming from a 1995 burglary gone wrong. Ocampo was 19 when he was arrested. He’s now 41.
Families of inmates sentenced to life terms when they were juveniles gathered Friday to ask Pennsylvania lawmakers to eliminate life-without-parole as a form of punishment.
Kimberly King was one of those calling for compassion during a rally in Philadelphia.
Telling her story to dozens assembled at the Arch Street United Methodist Church, King said the number 22 has special meaning — her older brother was 22 when he was sentenced to life in prison, and her little brother was murdered at 22.
A controversial bill has prisons advocates and reformers outraged and ready for action. House Bill 1089 which would require incarcerated persons to pay restitution from any funds on their prison accounts or sent to them by friends, family members and loved ones has been reintroduced by state representative Todd Stephenson (R-Montgomery County).