|Posted:||January 29, 2015 04:49 PM|
|From:||Representative Cherelle L. Parker|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Protocol for Arrests of Parents with Minor Children|
|In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to minimize the traumatizing effects on minor children when a parent or guardian is placed under arrest.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, approximately 81,096 children currently have a parent incarcerated at a state correctional institution. (This number does not include the number of children who have a parent incarcerated at a county correctional facility.) At some point, these parents were placed under arrest, many of them in the presence of their children. The arrest of a parent can be a traumatic experience for a child, whether the child is present or later learns that the parent has been arrested, potentially causing psychological damage and/or leaving the child without his or her primary caregiver.
To provide for a child’s welfare during a parent’s arrest, this legislation would require a law enforcement officer to inquire upon arrest whether the arrestee is the parent or guardian of any minor children whose safety or well-being may be impacted by the arrest.
This bill would further require the Pennsylvania State Police, the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission (MPOETC), and the Department of Human Services to develop an arrest protocol, which would consist of guidelines and training programs that address how law enforcement officers should proceed when arresting parents or guardians of minor children. The protocol would include:
Please join me in protecting the safety and well-being of minor children when their parents or guardians are arrested.
Thank you for your support of this important legislation.
Introduced as HB763