Kinkead named as PA Prison Society board member

Pittsburgh legislator joins board of historic prison reform organization

HARRISBURG, Aug. 29 – State Rep. Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny, announced today that she is now a board member of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, the nation’s oldest organization dedicated to the pursuit of humane criminal justice.

“Incarcerated people have their basic human rights violated on a regular basis in Pennsylvania prisons and correctional facilities throughout America,” Kinkead said. “Our current prison system is inhumane and does not advance the goals of deterring crime or reducing recidivism. It is obvious that major reforms need to happen, and I’m eager to join the PA Prison Society on their mission to create a more rational approach to criminal justice in our state.”

An experienced attorney, Kinkead has been a strong voice for criminal justice overhaul since her election to the PA House in 2020.

In January, Kinkead co-sponsored and became a fierce advocate for a package of prison reform bills led by state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Philadelphia.

With House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton and Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Beaver/Washington/Greene, currently serving on the board, Kinkead is now the third member of the PA General Assembly to join the board.

Founded in 1787 by individuals who signed the Declaration of Independence and later drafted the U.S. Constitution, the Prison Society has been advocating for a more humane and restorative correctional system for more than two centuries.

The cornerstone of their work is enabled by a PA law that authorizes the Prison Society to designate volunteers to visit any prison or jail in the commonwealth. Prison Society volunteers have authority to privately interview any incarcerated person in any prison or jail for any reason. They are the sole organization in the commonwealth with this authority and the only nonprofit organization in the United States with this degree of access to jails and prisons.