Superintendent Wenerowicz- SCI Graterford Prison

“I’ve recommended several inmates for commutation over the years.  I always thought, as Superintendent, if I’m willing to put my name on a document for someone to go home, they should at least be considered. I feel the commutation process is too political. The statistics show that inmates who are commuted have the lowest recidivism rate.  I believe there are more success stories than there are failures. But as long as you leave the Commutation process as a political process, I think it will be difficult for inmates to be commuted. I’ve said before, we’ve had several inmates here in this facility, where I feel comfortable, where I know if I let them out today, they’re not going to be coming back tomorrow. We just had 2 of them commuted with Tyrone Wertz and William Fultz. They’re out there being productive citizens. I think today, we have a better process in place to identify issues and concerns early on in the commutation process. We have a lot of checks and balances. Different types of risk assessments, different types of programming. Granted, some lifers have committed some heinous crimes, I agree with that, but they’re not the same people they were 30 years ago, or 20 years ago. We have to look at the individual and not necessarily the crime. The crime should be a factor but it shouldn’t be the only factor that decides whether an inmate dies in prison.

 

“We’re in a business where you can’t predict human behavior. I tell people that all the time, everybody’s a risk, I don’t care who you recommend for parole or commutation, there’s always that chance that they could go out and do something bad. But you shouldn’t use that as an excuse not to let someone out. I always tell people, if you use that as an excuse then you really shouldn’t be in the business of Corrections. Anytime, I recommend someone there’s always a risk they’re going to do something bad but I don’t let that risk be the basis for my decision. “

 

-Superintendent Wenerowicz- SCI Graterford Prison

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