PA DOC General Podcast – Updating Educational Computers

Updating Educational Computers

Recorded on October 3, 2017, DOC Bureau of Correction Education Director Terri Fazio talks about how her bureau is working with the DOC’s Bureau of Information Technology to update inmate education computers.

Bustin’ Walls – Episode 3: Meet Dorenda Hamarlund – Today’s Inmate is Tomorrow’s Neighbor”

This is a Pennsylvania Department of Corrections podcast where listeners get a real look inside the field of corrections with one of the top DOCs in the nation.

This episode of “Bustin’ Walls” features an interview with the DOC’s Career Pathways Program Manager Dorenda Hamarlund and highlights her work to manage implementation of a career pathways framework within Pennsylvania’s state prisons.

Funded by a three-year, $1 million “Improving Reentry Education” grant that the DOC received from the U.S. Department of Education, Hamarlund brings with her experience from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Prison Industry Authority (CAL-PIA).

Bustin’ Walls – Episode 2: Meet Ryan Yoder – Striving to be the Voice for Incarcerated Veterans

This is a Pennsylvania Department of Corrections podcast where listeners get a real look inside the field of corrections with one of the top DOCs in the nation.

This episode of “Bustin’ Walls” features an interview with the DOC’s Statewide Veterans Coordinator Ryan Yoder and highlights his work in which he oversees services provided to inmate veterans at three veterans service units in the DOC, as well as working with veteran inmates throughout the system to ensure they have access to services to which they are entitled. Secretary John Wetzel says that Yoder has a “unique combination of experience and education” that allows him to assist the more than 3,300 veterans serving in our state prison system.

Bustin’ Walls – Episode 1: Interview with PA’s Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm

This is a Pennsylvania Department of Corrections podcast where listeners get a real look inside the field of corrections with one of the top DOCs in the nation.

In this episode, DOC Secretary John Wetzel, the host of “Bustin’ Walls,” interviews Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm about her background and what led her to become the state’s top victim advocate.

The two also discuss the variety of programs and services available through her office. Learn more by visiting OVA’s website at www.ova.pa.gov

PA DOC General Podcast – Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections John E. Wetzel and DOC Director of Planning, Research and Statistics Dr. Bret Bucklen make the case against legislation restoring the mandatory minimum sentencing requirement. They argue the data do not support minimum sentences reducing or deterring crime. In fact, locking up those who commit non-violent crimes not only costs taxpayers – as much $85 million a year – it doesn’t necessarily lead to better outcomes for the individual when they are released.

Crime rates are lower today than at any time since 1970 and that includes reports released following the 2015 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that found mandatory minimums unconstitutional.

Mandatory minimums take discretion away from judges and give it to prosecutors. The current sentencing guidelines give latitude to judges to impose harsher sentences on those who deserve them. The DOC is a research-based, data-driven organization. There is no research that suggests the absence of mandatory minimums impact public safety. In fact, research suggests that low-level, non–violent offenders are more likely to go on to commit crimes when they are released which will lead to more victims. The existing structure allows victims to provide input at sentencing and parole.