Is PA’s parole system working?/Kids and the Battle of Gettysburg

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What to look for on Smart Talk, Wednesday, August 21, 2019:

Five men paroled from Pennsylvania prisons are accused of killing six people during a two-month period earlier this year. Two of the murders involved children. None of the cases are related.

A state correction officer association is calling on the state legislature to investigate the parole system that freed the inmates accused of the murders. They believe the parole system has problems, mainly caused by changes made by the Department of Corrections.

The Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole usually decides whether an inmate is released after serving at least a minimum sentence. However, once released, agents from the Department of Corrections supervise the parolees.

At the same time, bipartisan legislation has been introduced that would shorten probation terms and limit punishments for probation violations. Under probation, a person found guilty of a crime is released from custody. But that person must be supervised by a probation officer and comply with court-ordered rules. Requirements can include attending meetings with a probation officer, passing drug tests, or getting treated for substance use. Probationers can go to jail if they break a rule.

Appearing on Wednesday’s Smart Talk to discuss these issues is Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Corrections, John Wetzel.

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Secretary John Wetzel

Also, when author Gregory Christianson realized his son didn’t understand much about local civil war history, he decided that needed to change.

He wrote the book “Gettysburg: Kids Who Did the Impossible!” to educate young people, like his son, about  kids who played a role in the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg.

Christianson joins  us on Wednesday’s Smart Talk  to discuss children during the Battle of Gettysburg.

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Greg Christianson