42c9777s

§ 9777.  Transfer of inmates in need of medical treatment.

(a)  Inmates committed to custody of department.--If an inmate is committed to the custody of the department, the department, the inmate or a person to whom the court grants standing to act on behalf of the inmate may petition the sentencing court to temporarily defer service of the sentence of confinement and temporarily remove the inmate committed to the custody of the department, or other facility, for placement in a hospital, long-term care nursing facility or hospice care location. The following shall apply:

(1)  The sentencing court may approve the petitioner's request to temporarily defer service of the sentence of confinement and place the inmate in a hospital or long-term care nursing facility under electronic monitoring by the department upon clear and convincing proof that all of the following apply:

(i)  The medical needs of the inmate can be more appropriately addressed in the hospital or long-term care nursing facility.

(ii)  The hospital or long-term care nursing facility requested by the petitioner has agreed to accept the placement of the inmate and to provide necessary medical care.

(iii)  The inmate is seriously ill and is expected by a treating physician to not live for more than one year.

(iv)  There are no writs filed or detainers lodged against the inmate and the inmate is not subject to any court order requiring the inmate's presence.

(v)  The placement in the hospital or long-term care nursing facility does not pose an undue risk of escape or danger to the community. In making this determination, the sentencing court shall consider the inmate's institutional conduct record, whether the inmate was ever convicted of a crime of violence, the length of time that the inmate has been imprisoned and any other factors the sentencing court deems relevant.

(vi)  The hospital or long-term care nursing facility has agreed to notify the department and the court of any material changes in the health status of the inmate, the nature of the care provided or other information required by the department.

(vii)  Each agency representing the Commonwealth at a proceeding which resulted in an order committing or detaining the inmate, the State or local correctional facility housing the inmate and any registered crime victim have been given notice and an opportunity to be heard on the petition.

(2)  The sentencing court may approve the petitioner's request to temporarily defer service of the sentence of confinement in order for the inmate to receive care from a licensed hospice care provider, proposed by the petitioner and subject to electronic monitoring by the department, if all of the following are established by clear and convincing proof:

(i)  The inmate is terminally ill, not ambulatory and likely to die in the near future.

(ii)  The licensed hospice care provider can provide the inmate with more appropriate care.

(iii)  Appropriate medical care and palliative and supportive services will be provided by the licensed hospice care provider at the proposed hospice care location.

(iv)  The placement of the inmate in the proposed, licensed hospice care location does not pose an undue risk of escape or danger to the community. In making this determination, the sentencing court shall consider the inmate's institutional conduct record, whether the inmate was ever convicted of a crime of violence, the length of time that the inmate has been imprisoned and any other factors the sentencing court deems relevant.

(v)  The licensed hospice care provider has agreed to notify the department and the sentencing court of any material changes in the health status of the inmate, the nature of the hospice care provided or other information required by the department or the sentencing court.

(vi)  Each agency representing the Commonwealth at a proceeding which resulted in an order committing or detaining the inmate, the State or local correctional facility housing the inmate and any registered crime victim have been given notice and an opportunity to be heard on the petition.

(3)  Any order entered pursuant to this subsection temporarily deferring service of an inmate's sentence of confinement shall include a provision that the department or prosecuting attorney may at any time petition the sentencing court for an order directing that the inmate be recommitted to the custody of the department if the circumstances under which the inmate was released change or for any previously unknown circumstances, including a change in the inmate's medical status, the inmate's risk of escape, the inmate's danger to the community or the nature of the medical or other care provided by the hospital, long-term care nursing facility or hospice care provider.

(4)  The sentencing court may terminate at any time its order authorizing the temporary deferral of the service of an inmate's sentence of confinement entered pursuant to this subsection. An inmate taken into custody pursuant to an order directing the inmate's detention or recommitment under this subsection shall be delivered to the nearest State correctional institution pending a hearing on the matter.

(b)  Inmates committed to custody of other facilities.--An inmate not committed to the custody of the department but confined in an institution authorized to incarcerate or detain persons for criminal sentences, violations of criminal law or orders of parole, probation, bail or other order related to a civil or criminal matter may have service of the sentence of confinement deferred and may be placed in a hospital, long-term care nursing facility or licensed hospice care location, subject to electronic monitoring, by order of the judge that committed the inmate to the facility or institution or by another available judge designated to preside if all of the following are established by clear and convincing proof:

(1)  The chief administrator, the chief administrator's designee, the inmate or a person to whom the court grants standing to act on behalf of the inmate petitions the court or has given written consent to the grant of a petition under this section filed on behalf of the inmate.

(2)  There is sufficient proof to establish the requirements for a placement to a hospital or long-term care nursing facility under subsection (a)(1) or a placement to a hospice care location under subsection (a)(2).

(3)  An entry of an order pursuant to this subsection temporarily deferring service of an inmate's sentence of confinement shall include a provision that the chief administrator or the prosecuting attorney may at any time petition the sentencing court seeking the issuance of a bench warrant directing that the inmate be recommitted to the custody of the appropriate correctional institution if the circumstances under which the inmate was released change or for previously unknown circumstances, including a change in the inmate's medical status, the inmate's risk of escape, the inmate's danger to the community or the nature of the medical or other care provided by the hospital, long-term care nursing facility or hospice care provider.

(4)  The sentencing court may terminate at any time its order authorizing the temporary deferral of the service of an inmate's sentence of confinement entered pursuant to this subsection. An inmate taken into custody pursuant to an order directing detention or recommitment under this subsection shall be delivered to the county correctional institution or other institution at which the inmate was confined prior to the entry of the order deferring the service of the sentence of confinement pending a hearing on the matter.

(c)  Service.--Any petition filed under this section shall be served on each agency representing the Commonwealth at each proceeding which resulted in an order by which the inmate is committed or detained and to the correctional institution or institution responsible for housing the inmate. Each party shall have an opportunity to object and be heard as to the petition for alternative placement, the circumstances of placement, the conditions of return or any other relevant issue. The court shall ensure that any crime victim entitled to notification under section 201(7) or (8) of the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111), known as the Crime Victims Act, has been given notice and the opportunity to be heard on the petition. All parties served or notified under this subsection shall receive a copy of the final order adjudicating the petition.

(d)  Notice.--

(1)  Any order entered under this section placing an inmate in a hospital, long-term care nursing facility or hospice care location which provides care to persons who were not placed therein pursuant to an order entered under this section shall direct the individual in charge of the hospital, long-term care nursing facility or hospice care location to ensure that each person receiving care at, and each employee or contractor working in, the hospital, long-term care nursing facility or hospice care location is notified that the placement was ordered if it is foreseeable that the person, employee or contractor will come into contact with the inmate during the placement.

(2)  The sentencing court shall forward notice of any order entered under this section placing an inmate in a hospital, long-term care nursing facility or hospice care location to the hospital, long-term care nursing facility or hospice care location and to the Department of Public Welfare.

(e)  Petition requirements.--Any petition filed pursuant to this section must aver:

(1)  The name of the hospital, long-term care nursing facility or hospice care location proposed for placement.

(2)  That the petitioner reasonably believes the named hospital, long-term care nursing facility or hospice care location has agreed to accept the placement of the inmate and the facts upon which that belief is based.

(f)  Removal from placement.--If an inmate placed in a hospital, long-term care nursing facility or hospice care location pursuant to this chapter removes himself from the hospital, long-term care nursing facility or hospice care location, the inmate shall be subject to arrest upon probable cause and shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of criminal contempt.

(g)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Chief administrator."  As defined under 61 Pa.C.S. § 102 (relating to definitions).

"Department."  The Department of Corrections of the Commonwealth.

"Hospice care location."  A home, independent living environment or inpatient setting that provides a coordinated program of palliative and supportive services through a licensed hospice care provider.

"Hospital."  An entity licensed as an acute-care general hospital, a specialty hospital or a rehabilitation hospital under the act of July 19, 1979 (P.L.130, No.48), known as the Health Care Facilities Act.

"Licensed hospice care provider."  A hospice as defined under section 802.1 of the act of July 19, 1979 (P.L.130, No.48), known as the Health Care Facilities Act.

"Long-term care nursing facility."  A long-term care nursing facility as defined under section 802.1 of the act of July 19, 1979 (P.L.130, No.48), known as the Health Care Facilities Act.

"Prosecuting attorney."  The Office of Attorney General of the Commonwealth or the office of a district attorney of a county who represented the Commonwealth at the most recent sentencing of an inmate.

"Sentencing court."  The trial judge who most recently sentenced an inmate or, if the trial judge is no longer serving as a judge of that court, the president judge of the county court of common pleas.

42c9777v

(Aug. 11, 2009, P.L.147, No.33, eff. 60 days)

 

2009 Amendment.  Act 33 added section 9777.

References in Text.  The Department of Public Welfare, referred to in this section, was redesignated as the Department of Human Services by Act 132 of 2014.