Sports

Gov. Wolf Backs NFL Players' Calls For Bail Reform

Eagles players write op-ed praising Philadelphia District Attorney.


Governor Wolf is echoing the calls of NFL activists for bail reform in Pennsylvania and across the country.

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and defensive end Chris Long, along with Carolina Panthers wideout Torrey Smith (formerly on the Eagles), penned an op-ed in the USA Today saying Philadelphia should be a national model for bail reform on non-violent offenses.

Last year, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner stopped seeking cash bail for non-violent charges including drug possession and prostitution, totaling more than 60 percent of the criminal cases brought in the city. Jenkins, Long and Smith say the reforms have worked.

The players write: "Under the plan, an additional 1,750 Philadelphians were released without bail last year, and there was no increase in crime among those released before trial. Instead, those people were home working, spending time with their children, and doing the things that keep people away from an unforgiving system."

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, courtesy krasnerforda.com

The op-ed points out that according to the Philadelphia Police Department, crime rates have fallen by five percent since Krasner took office, and Wolf agrees that cash bail doesn't improve public safety.

"Our communities don't benefit from putting a person in jail only because they don't have enough money," Wolf said.

"I thank Malcolm, Chris and Torrey for continuing to raise awareness about unfairness in our criminal justice system. Their advocacy, along with so many others, was integral to Pennsylvania passing the nation's first Clean Slate law."

Gov. Wolf signed the Clean Slate law last year, which expands the sealing of non-violent criminal records, shielding records from potential employers, landlords and others. You can read more about the law find information about legal consultation here .

Jenkins, Long and Smith are members of the Players Coalition , a group of NFL players dedicated to social justice and racial equality in the United States.

You can read the full op-ed here , and share your thoughts on public safety with the Governor's office here .

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