|Posted:||February 8, 2017 02:40 PM|
|From:||Representative Carol Hill-Evans|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Protocol for Arrests of Parents with Minor Children (Re-Introduction)|
|In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation – former House Bill 763 of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session – to minimize the traumatizing effects on minor children when a parent or guardian is placed under arrest.
Far too many children in the Commonwealth currently have a parent incarcerated at a state correctional institution. 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:
Finally, the legislation would require law enforcement officers to receive training in handling arrests of parents or guardians of minor children during their basic training class and annual in-service training. Please join me in protecting the safety and well-being of minor children when their parents or guardians are arrested.