Parole manipulation at SCI Greene
Well over a year after Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell lifted the moratorium he imposed on the PA Board of Probation and Parole in conjunction with the Department of Corrections (DOC) to bring to a complete halt all prisoner releases, parole eligible prisoners at SCI Greene, located in southwestern Pennsylvania, who fall under the classification of violent offenders are still feeling the ramifications of Governor Rendell’s actions. Sadly, they have become pawns in the quest for continued prison expansion here in PA. At SCI Greene, parole eligible prisoners numbering into the hundreds are being systematically positioned to not make parole well before ever seeing the board.
It starts with PA Corrections unit counselors delaying the paperwork process until the very last minute of enrolling prisoners into PA Parole Board mandated rehabilitative programs such as drug and alcohol classes, victim awareness education and violence prevention, to name a few. All of these programs take 6-9 months to complete. If these programs are not completed at the time corrections unit counselors start compiling the prisoner’s paperwork for the parole board, the prisoner will not receive a favorable recommendation from the institution. Also, there are many prisoners who have successfully completed these programs, been certified in a vocation and remained clear of misconduct for years and still cannot get the institution’s support for parole.
The commonly used, open-ended excuse given is “more adjustment time is needed.” Most of these prisoners are well over their minimum release date and likely would have received institutional support at another PA facility. Without this support recommendation there is a 95% chance that the prisoner will not receive parole. The PA Parole Board policy states that no parole decision under a year can be appealed. So prisoners in this category receive six and nine month review hits repeatedly.
With this kind of intentionally manufactured overcrowding taking place unchecked by the current governor and state legislators in a ploy to create jobs by constantly expanding the Prison Industrial Complex, it’s very easy to see why tens of millions of PA tax dollars are being sent out of state yearly to Michigan and Virginia to warehouse thousands of PA prisoners until construction is fully completed on numerous new prisons. Madness. Where is the outrage?