Criminal Justice and Public Safety - Shapiro For Governor
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Criminal Justice and Public Safety

Pennsylvanians deserve a criminal justice system that both keeps us safe and enforces the law fairly and impartially. Almost 180,000 Pennsylvanians are currently on probation — and our Commonwealth has the second highest incarceration rate in the country. Furthermore, Pennsylvania is the only state in the entire country that doesn’t allocate state general funds for indigent defense. 

As Attorney General, Josh has worked to make communities more safe while pushing for reform. Under Josh’s watch, the Office of the Attorney General has arrested an average of four drug dealers a day and has taken thousands of illegal guns off the streets. His office has also worked to curb gun violence by collaborating across state lines to crack down on illegal gun trafficking, and led the fight to close the ghost gun loophole. Josh has supported law enforcement across Pennsylvania, calling for increased funding for training and working collaboratively with local police departments. As communities across the Commonwealth face a historic shortage of police officers, Josh is calling to immediately hire officers to fill open roles, and invest in recruitment and training to ensure you can count on law enforcement to respond in an emergency.

To keep our communities safe, Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth must have faith in our criminal justice system – so we must also address the reality that Pennsylvania’s justice system disproportionately impacts people of color. While Black Pennsylvanians constitute 12% of state residents, they account for 46% of people in prison. Josh believes we must invest in public safety while pursuing smart criminal justice reform that will address those inequities, restore trust, and make our communities safer.

At the same time, Josh enacted bail reform for non-violent and low-level offenses for cases handled by the Office of the Attorney General, announced the first-of-its-kind agreement with the largest firearms show promoter in Pennsylvania to stop their sales of ghost gun kits, and led the bipartisan coalition to create a statewide Police Misconduct Database in Pennsylvania. His office also started the Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI), which partners with local law enforcement to expand access to treatment for Pennsylvanians suffering from substance use disorder.

As Pennsylvania’s next Governor, Josh will continue to keep our communities safe by working with law enforcement and spearheading smart, data-driven criminal justice reform that will make our Commonwealth safer and more just. He will work to improve public safety and reduce recidivism by reforming probation and parole, funding indigent defense, and keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. He will also invest in addiction prevention programs and expand treatment options so that non-violent offenders can access the support they need.