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11/14/2019 03:58 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=29640
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 22, 2019 03:29 PM
From: Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell
To: All House members
Subject: Dignity for Incarcerated Women Package: Part II
 
Over 5,300 children in Pennsylvania have a mother incarcerated in a Pennsylvania state prison, with 72 percent of women having at least one child. During the past few years, Pennsylvania’s population of incarcerated women has increased by 4.4 percent, with 8 percent growth expected over the next five years.

My first piece of legislation would look to limit, to the greatest extent possible, inspections by male correctional officers when a female is in a state of undress. In addition, the bill would also require invasive body cavity searches of pregnant women to be done by a certified healthcare professional. There would be exceptions for cavity searches if a correctional officer has reason to believe the woman was concealing contraband, with justification being required in the form of a written report within 72 hours following the search.

My second piece of legislation would require the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PADOC) to place incarcerated mothers of a minor dependent within 250 miles of their permanent address of record. It would also authorize visitation by minor dependents for at least two days per week.

My third proposal would establish an overnight visitation program at all PADOC facilities. The program would allow children 10 years or younger to stay overnight with their mother, so long as the mother meets certain qualifications. Furthermore, it would establish a separate, secure area where both mother and child could stay for the duration of the visit.

My fourth proposal would require the PADOC and the Department of Human Services to jointly develop a training program for staff who have contact with incarcerated pregnant women. This program would include a variety of information about the general care of pregnant women and would also require that educational programming be put in place for pregnant women.

It is our duty as legislators to fight for the rights of our incarcerated constituents, and through our concentrated effort and support, I believe that we will be able to continue to protect the dignity of our incarcerated women and girls with this legislation.



Document #1

Introduced as HB1593

Description: D04685 is Amending Title 61 of Pennsylvania consolidated statutes, in miscellaneous provisions relating to inmate confinement, providing for cavity search and inspection restrictions.
  View Attachment
 

Document #2

Introduced as HB1591

Description: D04684 is Amending Title 61 of Pennsylvania consolidated statutes, in miscellaneous provisions relating to inmate confinement, providing for family consideration in placement and visitation
  View Attachment
 

Document #3

Introduced as HB1592

Description: D04683 is Amending Title 61 of Pennsylvania consolidated statutes, in miscellaneous provisions relating to inmate confinement, providing for overnight visitation program.
  View Attachment
 

Document #4

Introduced as HB1594

Description: D04681 is Amending Title 61 of Pennsylvania consolidated statutes, in miscellaneous provisions relating to inmate confinement, providing for training and educational requirements.
  View Attachment