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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 9, 2013 12:36 PM
From: Representative Thomas H. Killion
To: All House members
Subject: Appeal Process for Employees of Juvenile Facilities (Former HB 338)
Over the years, the Commonwealth's juvenile detention facilities and private residential rehabilitative institutions (PRRIs) have experienced an increase in false claims of child abuse against their staff. Last session, I introduced legislation (HB338) to provide long overdue accountability and essential due process protections for those who work with delinquent children and students by establishing specific timelines for appeals for indicated cases of child abuse. This legislation also contained provisions to deter this type of behavior by creating legal repercussions for individuals who intentionally and knowingly make false reports of abuse against staff or employees of juvenile detention centers or PRRIs. Finally, HB338 would have established a subfile within the Statewide Childline Registry of those who have been found guilty of intentionally filing a false report along with the named child involved in the report.

While HB338 unanimously passed the House on June 21, 2011, its consideration by the full Senate was delayed as a result of the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal. Shortly thereafter, a Child Abuse Task Force was created by the General Assembly to thoroughly review state laws and procedures governing child protection and the reporting of child abuse. the Child Abuse task Force's final report, which was released on November 27, 2012, examined and analyzed the practices, processes and procedures relating to the response to and reporting of child abuse. The final report recommended various legislative revisions, including the three proposed revisions outlined in HB338, to further update Pennsylvania law with regards to the reporting and investigation of suspected child abuse.

As recommended by the Child Abuse Task Force, I will be reintroducing HB338 in the upcoming legislative session.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Alison Hagler in my office at ahagler@pahousegop.com.

Introduced as HB476