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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 12, 2018 05:38 PM
From: Representative Ed Neilson
To: All House members
Subject: House Arrest Program - Electronic Monitoring
Many of you are aware of the tragic story of Philadelphia Police Officer Moses Walker Jr., a nineteen-year veteran of the force, who was killed in 2012 by Rafael Jones, a parolee, who had been ordered to undergo house arrest with electronic monitoring. Despite this order, an electronic monitoring device was not placed on Jones due to the absence of a telephone line in his residence 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. Furthermore, in some cases, the parolees do not have telephone landlines in their residences, thus preventing a monitoring device from being installed in the first place. Allowing parolees who have been ordered to undergo electronic monitoring to go unmonitored indefinitely, or even for just a brief period of time, is unacceptable. My legislation seeks to remedy this problem.

My proposal would require a state parole officer to escort a parolee who has been ordered to undergo electronic monitoring from a correctional institution, directly to a parole office for the fitting of a monitoring device. If a telephone landline is not present at the parolee’s residence at the time of scheduled release, the parolee would not be released until a functional landline has been installed. I ask that you please join me in co-sponsoring this much-needed legislation to help ensure that no more lives are lost as the result of loopholes in our criminal justice system.

Previous Co-Sponsors: Barbin, Catagirone, D. Costa, Cox, Driscoll, Farry, Godshall, Millard & Readshaw.

Introduced as HB1164