Update: this Bill was approved unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee and will go before the General Assembly in the fall. Please call your representatives and tell them to oppose this bill, and check back soon for more information about what Decarcerate is doing to make sure this and other anti-prisoner legislation does not move forward.
On Friday, June 27th, House Bill 2386, sponsored by PA State Rep. Todd Stephens, will go before the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee. The bill would substantially cut the already minuscule wages that prisoners earn while locked up. The bill would require the deduction of 25% of a prisoner's wages and 75% of all deposits into their personal account for court fees and costs.
The starting wage in the DOC is $0.19/hour. The maximum a prisoner can make is $0.42 an hour. Prisoners can already have about 20% of their wages taken to pay court cost and fines through Act 84. Because people in prison often get financial support from their families on the outside, this bill places yet another economic burden on prisoners' families too.
Time and time again, the Judiciary Committees in Harrisburg pass bills that make conditions worse for prisoners and their families and do nothing to reduce the impact of mass incarceration in Pennsylvania.
Please share this information and voice your opposition to HB2386 by taking a minute to call Representative Stephens (the bill's sponsor), Representatives Ron Marsico and Thomas Caltagirone (House Judiciary chairs) and/or other members of the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow (Friday) and tell them to VOTE NO on HB 2386 and to take real steps to end mass incarceration in PA.
Rep. Todd Stephens - (717) 260-6163
Rep. Ron Marsico (Majority Chair) - (717) 783-2014
Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (Minority Chair) - (717) 787-3525
Rep. Timothy Krieger (Subcommittee Chair on Crime & Corrections) - (717) 260-6146
Rep. Matt Bradford (Democratic Chair on Crime & Corrections) - (717) 772-2572
Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown (the only representative from Philadelphia) - (717) 783-3822
Here's the text of the bill: