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A podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically. The Department of Corrections (DOC) features several Podcasts on various issues.

Secretary Wetzel's Podcast -- "Bustin' Walls"
Hosted by Secretary John Wetzel, "Bustin' Walls" is a Pennsylvania DOC podcast where we break through the walls and fences of our state facilities to provide our listeners with a real look inside the field of corrections with one of the top DOC's in the nation.




 "Today's Inmate is Tomorrow's Neighbor"
Meet Dorenda Hamarlund
“Bustin’ Walls” 2017 Episode 3 (Recorded May 4, 2017)

This episode of "Bustin' Walls" features an interview with the DOC's Career Pathways Program Manager Dorenda Hamarlund and highlights her work to manage implementation of a career pathways framework within Pennsylvania's state prisons. 

Funded by a three-year, $1 million "Improving Reentry Education" grant that the DOC received from the U.S. Department of Education, Hamarlund brings with her experience from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Prison Industry Authority (CAL-PIA).

The Career Pathway Program Model Flowchart (pdf)

Striving to be the Voice for Incarcerated Veterans
Meet Ryan Yoder
“Bustin’ Walls” 2017 Episode 2 (Recorded April 10, 2017)

Yoder-Ryan.JPGThis episode of “Bustin’ Walls” features an interview with the DOC’s Statewide Veterans Coordinator Ryan Yoder and highlights his work in which he oversees services provided to inmate veterans at three veterans service units in the DOC, as well as working with veteran inmates throughout the system to ensure they have access to services to which they are entitled.  Secretary John Wetzel says that Yoder has a “unique combination of experience and education” that allows him to assist the more than 3,300 veterans serving in our state prison system.

Interview with PA's Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm

Storm-Jennifer PA OVA.jpgDOC Secretary John Wetzel, the host of "Bustin' Walls," interviews Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm about her background and what led her to become the state's top victim advocate.  The two also discuss the variety of programs and services available through her office. 

NOTE:  Ms. Storm meant to say 1995 rather than 1985 when speaking of the year that law was implemented giving crime victims special rights in Pennsylvania. The Office of Victim Advocate has an informative website for all users.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences

(Recorded April 4, 2017) - Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections John E. Wetzel and DOC Director of Planning, Research & Statistics Dr. Bret Bucklen make the case against legislation restoring the mandatory minimum sentencing requirement. They argue the data do not support minimum sentences reducing or deterring crime. In fact, locking up those who commit non-violent crimes not only costs taxpayers - as much $85 million a year - it doesn’t necessarily lead to better outcomes for the individual when they are released.

Crime rates are lower today than at any time since 1970 and that includes reports released following the 2015 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that found mandatory minimums unconstitutional.

Mandatory minimums take discretion away from judges and give it to prosecutors. The current sentencing guidelines give latitude to judges to impose harsher sentences on those who deserve them. The DOC is a research-based, data-driven organization. There is no research that suggests the absence of mandatory minimums impact public safety.  In fact, research suggests that low-level, non–violent offenders are more likely to go on to commit crimes when they are released which will lead to more victims. The existing structure allows victims to provide input at sentencing and parole.

General PA DOC Podcasts  

VIRTUAL REALITY (Recorded March 15, 2017)

Hear from DOC's Dan McIntyre who is spearheading the agency's work in the use of virtual reality with inmates.

PA DOC Week In Review 

NEW!!!  Week In Review - May 22, 2017

Week In Review - May 15, 2017

Week In Review - May 8, 2017

Week In Review - May 1, 2017

Week In Review - Weeks of April 10, April 17 and April 24, 2017

Week In Review - April 6, 2017

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