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06/13/2024 02:39 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=39092
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 4, 2023 11:47 AM
From: Representative Liz Hanbidge
To: All House members
Subject: Adopting Grand Jury Recommendations for Juvenile Detention Facilities
 
On December 13, 2022, a Grand Jury issued a report on the Delaware County Detention Center at Lima (DCJDC). This report offered a scathing look into DCJDC’s failures to care for and rehabilitate the youths held at the facility, and the frequent disregard for the rights of the children placed in their care.
 
To address the shortcomings in our juvenile justice system, I will be introducing a package of bills that would improve the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) reporting of abuse to proper authorities and impose stricter requirements regarding the use of seclusion in juvenile detention facilities.

These efforts to provide greater transparency and oversight of out-of-home placement facilities for youths adjudicated delinquent and protect juveniles from cruel and unusual uses of solitary confinement are just the beginning of addressing the many inadequacies in our juvenile justice system. Please join me in co-sponsoring these vital pieces of legislation that would better protect one of our state’s most vulnerable populations from abuse at the hands of those whose duty it should be to care for and rehabilitate them.
 



Document #1

Introduced as HB1767

Description: My first piece of legislation would require DHS to report all allegations and reports of child abuse and other serious incidents in juvenile facilities to judges, public defenders, district attorneys, the juvenile probation department, and others to ensure greater transparency. It would also increase oversight of facilities by adding inspection requirements for DHS as well as the Office of State Inspector General.
 
 

Document #2

Introduced as HB1766

Description: My second piece of legislation would add safeguards regarding the use of “room seclusion”, including requiring DHS to obtain a judicial order whenever a juvenile is in “room seclusion” for more than four hours in a 24-hour period, rather than the current eight hours in a 48-hour period.