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Kane’s New Life As An Inmate

November 30, 2018

Kathleen G. Kane was once the state’s top prosecutor. Today, she’s offender No. 1603207 at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.

Kane, 52, of Waverly Twp., reported to the jail shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday to begin serving her 10-to 23-month prison sentence for her 2016 conviction for perjury and other offenses. The conviction will have lifelong consequences. Here’s a look at what her life will be like during her incarceration and the impact the conviction will have once she’s released.

Q: How much time must Kane serve before she will be eligible for parole?

A: In most cases, defendants serving a county jail sentence are released after serving their minimum sentence, as long as they do not have many write-ups for misconduct while incarcerated, several area attorneys said.

There is no “good time” credit, therefore she will have to serve at least the minimum sentence, said Robert Buehner, a former Montour County district attorney, and Joseph D’Andrea, a veteran Scranton defense attorney. She could at some point file a petition for early release, which would be decided by the trial judge, Wendy Demchick-Alloy.

Q: Who will make the decision on when to parole her?

A: Because Kane is serving her sentence at a county facility, the decision of when to release her rests solely with Demchick-Alloy, D’Andrea said. The process differs from that of inmates serving a sentence at a state prison. Those decisions are made by the state parole board.

Peter Paul Olszewski Jr.,a former Luzerne County judge, said each judge has their own standards by which they make those decisions, but they generally will parole defendants after the minimum sentence.

“I think the court by and large … will look at what she did in prison and, as long as there were no problems, would be moved to release her at the minimum,” Olszewski said.

Q: What agency will monitor Kane once she is released?

A: Kane will be under the jurisdiction of Montgomery County’s probation/parole department, which will monitor her on parole until the expiration of her maximum sentence. She was also sentenced to eight years of probation, which will start once she is released. The department will monitor her probation sentence as well.

The department will dictate the terms of her parole/probation, Buehner said. It could require her to meet in person with a parole agent weekly or monthly or it could allow her to maintain written contact with an agent, which would require her to report any significant changes in life, such as a change of address or job.

Q: What will Kane’s typical day be like while she is incarcerated?

A: The jail’s female wing typically houses about 300 inmates in a mixture of multi-person cells and dormitories, said John Corcoran, spokesman for Montgomery County.

The typical schedule for the day is lunch around noon, dinner at 4:30 p.m. and lights out at 10 p.m. Visitors are permitted twice a week, for two hours at a time. They are not permitted to have physical contact with the inmate.

Inmates are limited to having two books, two magazines and two newspapers at any one time. The books and magazines may only come from approved vendors.

Q: What type of activities are available at the jail?

A: The jail offers various activities, including a library and nondenominational religious chapel. Inmates can sign out books and newspapers from the library on a weekly basis. More than 40 different religious activities are held each week.

Televisions are only available in the day rooms and only have broadcast channels. Inmates are permitted to rent a tablet from the facility, but it has controlled content.

Q: What will happen to the status of Kane’s law license?

A: The state Supreme Court suspended Kane’s law license on Sept. 21, 2015. Now that her appeals have concluded, the Disciplinary Board of the State Supreme Court will file a new petition for discipline, said Paul Burgoyne, deputy chief counsel for the disciplinary board.

Burgoyne said Kane has a right to request a hearing, but the only issue that will be addressed is the type of discipline she will receive, which can range from a public censure or suspension to disbarment.

If Kane requests a hearing, a three-member committee will hold a hearing and make a recommendation to the 13-member Disciplinary Board. The board will then make a recommendation to the state Supreme Court, which has final say on the punishment.

Contact the writer:

tbesecker@timesshamrock.com

570-348-9137, @tmbeseckerTT

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