Parole for Lifers in Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania is one of six states which require those who are sentenced to life in prison to remain in prison until death without the possibility of parole.

While men and women remain incarcerated, family members and friends are forced to serve life sentences as well. Loved ones who are left behind pay for crimes which they did not commit via vicarious trauma. They also experience adverse effects of children without parents, unfavorable self-evaluation, emotional concerns such as depression and single parent homes. 

Parole for lifers would prevent taxpayers from paying $35,000 per year for approximately 50-60 years for an 18 year old teen to spend the remainder of his or her natural life in prison. Such funds could be better spent if used for struggling school systems. 

Life sentences, also known as "true life" sentences, "death by incarceration" and "the other death penalty", dehumanizes, diminishes hope and implies people don't change. However, the possibility of parole would encourage prisoners to take advantage of life skills, substance abuse and other programs offered while increasing hopes and means of becoming productive members of society. 

When sentenced to life in prison, the only way a lifer can be released from prison is to have his/her conviction overturned, receive commutation from the governor or die in prison. 


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