Pennsylvania prisons hold over 5000 people serving life sentences without the possibility of parole. In PA, a life sentence means your natural life–it is a sentence that condemns you to die in prison–which is why many choose to call it Death By Incarceration (DBI). We believe that sentencing people to Death By Incarceration is a violation of their human rights and an affront to the humanity of us all. That’s why Decarcerate PA, Fight for Lifers, the Human Rights Coalition, and Right to Redemption are launching a campaign to end Death By Incarceration sentencing in PA. We are working to build a mass movement both inside and outside of prison to take a stand against DBI and other harsh sentencing practices. To do this, we have established three core demands for legislative change:
- Parole eligibility after no more than 15 years;
- Presumptive parole: people are paroled at their eligibility date, unless the prison administration can prove serious unresolved disciplinary infractions;
- A maximum sentencing law that will stop the commonwealth from incarcerating people for indefinite periods of time.