McClinton appointed to Pa. Sentencing Commission

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 7 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, has been appointed by House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody to serve on the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission. She is the first woman from the House of Representatives to serve on the commission.

"I'm honored to have this added opportunity to work for criminal justice reform," McClinton said. "Having served as an assistant public defender in Philadelphia for seven years, I am very familiar with how our criminal justice system works and how it needs to work better, to keep our communities safe and to help ex-offenders reintegrate into society."

The commission is charged with creating and maintaining a consistent and rational statewide sentencing policy through the adoption of guidelines that promote fairer and more uniform sentencing throughout the commonwealth. It is also required to develop resentencing guidelines, state and county parole guidelines and state recommitment ranges.

McClinton's efforts on criminal justice reform include hosting events to help returning citizens apply for pardons or expungements and introducing legislation that would reform Pennsylvania’s pretrial and bail procedures to provide a fairer, effective and less costly criminal justice system.

She also has introduced legislation with Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., that would direct Pennsylvania courts to sentence the primary caretakers of children younger than 18 to individualized community-based sentencing programs. That bill would apply to low-level and non-violent offenses that do not carry mandatory minimums.

McClinton also serves on the House Judiciary Committee, which reviews bills relating to law enforcement and corrections. It has oversight over a number of state agencies, including the Pennsylvania State Police, Attorney General's Office, Department of Corrections, the State Ethics Commission, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Office of General Counsel, Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing and the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission. The committee also evaluates prison staffing and inmate populations and housing conditions.

McClinton represents the 191st Legislative District, which includes part of southwest Philadelphia, Darby and part of Yeadon.