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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 3, 2023 12:59 PM
From: Representative Stephen Kinsey and Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski
To: All House members
Subject: Securing Waiting Areas in Courthouses and Hospitals
One of the most difficult things a victim or witness of a crime could do is testifying in open court 

against an offender. For victims, this often means re-living the trauma of an attack. For 

witnesses, it means the recounting of the distressing details of a crime. To add to the already 

stressful conditions in the courtroom, victims and witnesses may be forced to confront 

defendants outside the courtroom or while recovering in a hospital, potentially leading to 



The Crime Victims Act of 1998 established safe and secure waiting areas in courts across the 

Commonwealth in order to keep victims safe from intimidation by defendants and their associates. Our proposal further defines these safe waiting areas and directs the Pennsylvania 

Commission on Crime and Delinquency to set standards for their construction. It also requires 

the same secure waiting areas to be available in hospitals to protect victims when they are in 

their most vulnerable state. Furthermore, our proposal guarantees these secure waiting areas to be available to similarly vulnerable groups: witnesses, attorneys, and family members of victims. 


We believe that as state legislators, we have a responsibility to protect victims and witnesses 

from further violence and intimidation. Please join our vision to enhance victims’ rights and 

safety in Pennsylvania. 


Introduced as HB584