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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 28, 2017 12:47 PM
From: Representative Todd Stephens
To: All House members
Subject: Tougher Penalties for Domestic Violence Offenders and Developing a Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Instrument
We have all witnessed the tragic consequences of domestic violence in our Commonwealth. Sadly, every year we lose far too many Pennsylvanians to domestic violence. We all know domestic violence assaults are very different from other simple and aggravated assault crimes, yet our crimes code treats them the same. Additionally, a Court of Common Pleas Judge recently brought it to my attention that our penalties do not increase for repeat domestic violence offenders. Finally, the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing recently reviewed domestic violence case data and identified factors indicating a higher risk of committing future acts of domestic violence.

To address these issues, I am introducing legislation to strengthen our domestic violence criminal statutes in Pennsylvania by increasing the grading for assaults that are committed by domestic violence offenders and increasing the penalties for repeat domestic violence offenders. Additionally, my legislation will require the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to develop a risk assessment instrument and make it available for Judges to use during Protection From Abuse proceedings, when setting bail in domestic violence cases and when sentencing domestic violence offenders.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2487