Gov. Wolf: Pa. prison population reaches 20-year low

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The number of people imprisoned in Pennsylvania correctional facilities has reached its lowest number since 2001, according to Governor Tom Wolf.

Over 8,300 less individuals are incarcerated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic for a reported total population of 36,743.

“My administration has taken a comprehensive approach to reducing the prison population, with an emphasis on rehabilitation for men and women who are incarcerated and opportunities after incarceration, and I’m proud of our successful efforts while ensuring public safety,” said Governor Wolf. “Most individuals who are incarcerated will be released at some point, so investing in resources and creating good policies ensures lower incarceration rates, a reduction in recidivism, and a better, more productive quality of life for re-entrants.​”

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) expedited furloughs of parolees from centers to home plans, coordinated with the parole board to maximize parole releases, reviewed parole detainers for those in county jails and state prisons, expedited the release process for reentrants with a pending approved home plan, and implemented a temporary reprieve program – all with the goal of keeping staff, incarcerated population and the community safe during the pandemic.

The department oversees the operation of 23 state correctional institutions, one motivational boot camp, 14 community corrections centers and nearly 40 contract facilities. An interactive dashboard created by the DOC allows users to track prison populations, a number of people under parole supervision, recidivism as well as other data over the past 20 years.

For a full list of criminal justice reform accomplishments, visit

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