HARRISBURG – The PA Senate approved probation reform legislation. Senate Bill 838 limits the length of probation and prevents people from being sent back to jail for minor violations. State law currently does not limit the length of probation sentences and critics say non-violent offenders are often incarcerated for technical violations that are not crimes. Under the bill, probation review conferences would be required within certain periods of time, including two years for someone who committed a misdemeanor and four years for someone who committed a felony. Probation review cases can be held earlier for good behavior. Probation would be required to end unless the defendant commits a crime that demonstrates that they are a threat to public safety, has not completed certain treatment, or has not paid restitution under some circumstances. It also prohibits courts from extending someone’s probation for not paying fines or court costs if they are found to be unable to afford it. The bill now goes to the state House.