• On-Demand Video

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Pennsylvania Inmate

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Under the authority granted to him by the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Emergency Management Services Code, Governor Tom Wolf today ordered Department of Corrections officials to establish a Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration to help aid the department in the transfer of qualifying individuals to community corrections facilities or home confinement amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We can reduce our non-violent prison population and leave fewer inmates at risk for contracting COVID-19 while maintaining public safety with this program,” Gov. Wolf said. “I am pleased to direct the Department of Corrections to begin the process to release vulnerable and non-violent inmates at or nearing their release dates in an organized way that maintain supervision post-release and ensures home and health care plans are in place for all reentrants.”

This on-demand video will discuss:

  • The limited avenues for release of prisoners under current Pennsylvania statutes and sentencing laws.
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections response to prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the state’s prisons, including addressing prisoner health needs, proposed legislation providing a mechanism for the release of inmates to reduce the prison population.
  • An examination of Gov. Wolf’s Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration Executive Order and the status of its implementation.
  • Limitations for sentenced inmates released pursuant to the Reprieve as it relates to the calculation of time served.
  • Release measures being implemented in county jails.
  • Considerations for attorneys with incarcerated clients considered “high-risk” for contracting the virus who want to pursue judicial avenues for relief. 

Recorded on May 4, 2020.

Practice Areas


Mark H. Bergstrom Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing
Hon. A. Nicole Tate-Phillips Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas - Family Law Division
Diana Woodside Esq. Department of Corrections
Faculty may vary by location.
PBI reserves the right to substitute speakers at all programs.
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