Stack: State Aims to Smooth Path for Pardons

Filed under: Featured News,Government,Subject Categories |
LT. GOV. Mike Stack told a S. Phila. panel the Penna. Board of Pardons, which he chairs, is on track to make the criminal pardon process smoother and easier, as State Rep. Jordan Harris, right, listens.

LT. GOV. Mike Stack told a S. Phila. panel the Penna. Board of Pardons, which he chairs, is on track to make the criminal pardon process smoother and easier, as State Rep. Jordan Harris, right, listens.

More criminal pardons are in the works, thanks to efforts by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration to speed up the works.

That was the message brought home to Philadelphia by native son Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, who chairs the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons. Speaking at a workshop at Dixon House in South Philadelphia organized by Unity in the Community as part of its annual Peace Week, Stack introduced the basics of his new Pathways to Pardons process which is designed to make it easier for convicted criminals who have changed their lives to remove the penalties from their record.

“Pathways to Pardons is my initiative to give Pennsylvanians second chances. We are trying to educate Pennsylvanians about the pardons process and how it is a tool to help people repair their lives for past mistakes that they made,” Stack said. “I am a strong believer in forgiveness and I support giving people second chances. I understand that people make mistakes.

“But when people make mistakes, and they take ownership of their mistakes, and they have reformed their lives and they want to take that next step to improve their lives … wow, that is such a critical moment, a powerful moment, and that is where a pardon can be helpful,” he continued.

Stack stated that society has been “doing things the wrong way for 50 years” by punishing offenders ever more harshly while giving too little regard to rehabilitation.

Applications for pardons have been on the rise and Stack vowed to keep pace with them. He said the board has increased the number of cases it reviews quarterly by 50% since he took over the Board in 2015.

Stack also plans to add a fifth review to its existing quarterly reviews, one exclusively for nonviolent offenders, starting this December. He has added a fifth staff member and is working to streamline the BOP website in order to enable it to accept online applications.

Still, it is a struggle to keep up with demand. The BOP is receiving up to 190 new applications each quarter, Stack said.

With extensive experience in the State Senate, Stack is also seeking legislative relief. “We are also working with some legislators to develop an auto-expungement law and other initiatives to tackle the backlog,” he said.

JOIN OUR NEWSPAPER
Join over 3.000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn how to optimize your blog for search engines, find free traffic, and monetize your website.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.
Share
www.pdf24.org    Send article as PDF   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *