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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 15, 2016 11:53 AM
From: Representative Ed Neilson
To: All House members
Subject: House Arrest Program: Electronic Monitoring (Re-Introduction)
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation – former House Bill 506 of the 2013-2014 Legislative Session – that will require a state parole officer to escort a parolee, upon his release from a correctional institution, directly to a parole office if he has been ordered to undergo electronic monitoring. At the parole office, an electronic monitoring device will placed on the individual. In addition, a parolee ordered to undergo electronic monitoring will not be released from a correctional institution unless a telephone landline exists and is in working condition at the person’s residence in order for the electronic monitoring device to function properly.

Tragically, Philadelphia Police Officer Moses Walker Jr., a nineteen-year veteran of the force, was killed in 2012 by Rafael Jones, a parolee, who had been ordered to undergo house arrest with electronic monitoring. However, Michael Potteiger, chairman of the Board of Probation and Parole, stated that a device was not placed on Jones because his residence did not have a telephone landline to support the device.

Currently, parolees who are ordered to undergo electronic monitoring are allowed to go unmonitored for a brief period of time between being released from prison and their first required meeting at a parole office. In addition, in some cases the parolees do not have telephone landlines in their residences and they are not given electronic monitoring devices because the devices will not work. Allowing parolees who have been ordered to undergo electronic monitoring to go unmonitored indefinitely or for just a brief period of time is unacceptable, and my legislation seeks to remedy the problem. I ask that you please join me in co-sponsoring this much-needed legislation

Introduced as HB319