Senate Judiciary Committee Reviews Governor’s Prisoner Reprieve Process During COVID-19

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing today to conduct a thorough review of the Wolf Administration’s release of incarcerated individuals from State Correctional Institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor’s ‘Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration’ led to the release of 151 state prison inmates on reprieve, which is essentially an adaptation of house arrest, according to Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel.

Each of the inmates considered for release had to meet strict guidelines in order to be granted the reprieve, which also included not having committed a crime involving a victim.

Testifiers included:

  • Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel
  • Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole Chairman Theodore Johnson
  • Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association Director of Legislation and Policy Greg Rowe
  • Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis
  • Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm
  • Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape Policy Director Donna Greco

For a full video of the joint hearing.

For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit  State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at or Twitter @SenatorMensch.


CONTACT: Madison Scarfaro  (215) 541-2388