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Pennsylvania Senate Sends Governor Corbett Prison Reform Bill

(Gov. Tom Corbett, in file photo.  Credit:  Mario Tama/ Getty Images)

(Gov. Tom Corbett, in file photo. Credit: Mario Tama/ Getty Images)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG (CBS) — Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett was expected to sign a bill heading for his desk that would overhaul the state’s corrections system.

The corrections reform bill, given final legislative approval by the Senate on Monday, was one of Governor Corbett’s legislative priorities.

Suburban Philadelphia Republican Stewart Greenleaf, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the bill puts new emphasis on rehabilitation.

“It provides for a comprehensive re-entry program,” Greenleaf said. “(It) expands use of alternative sentencing programs, adopts a Hawaiian program that’s very successful on dealing with ‘technical’ parole violators, which is a large percentage of our increases in our prison system.”

Greenleaf said the legislation was proposed as a response to a spike in Pennsylvania’s prison population, driven mostly by an increase in non-violent offenders.

He said it was estimated it would save the state a quarter-billion dollars over five years.

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