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Life without parole

Activists Call For End To ‘Death By Incarceration’

The activists held a press conference and rally in Philadelphia Sept. 30 to promote SB835, introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators. If passed, the state bill would offer geriatric and medical parole for anyone, aged 55 years or older, who has served 25 years or half their sentence, whichever comes first. The bill would offer incarcerated people with a chronic medical condition — either a physical or mental illness — a chance at parole. Currently, an incarcerated person in Pennsylvania needs to petition their sentencing judge to qualify for compassionate release. And they need a doctor to confirm they have less than a year to live, and in most cases be unable to walk. In Pennsylvania, the more than 10,000 incarcerated people over 55 are considered geriatric, because their life spans are shortened by oppressive prison conditions, including poor nutrition and health care, severe stress and the risk of violence.
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