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06/19/2024 11:04 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 6, 2023 03:24 PM
From: Representative Kristine C. Howard
To: All House members
Subject: Expunging and Limiting Juvenile DNA Data
The juvenile justice system was intended to prioritize rehabilitation over punishment. However, the overuse of juvenile DNA collection conflicts with the rehabilitative purposes of the juvenile system.
Juvenile DNA collection has become more common due to the expansion of qualifying offenses for DNA collection. In Pennsylvania, DNA may be collected from juveniles for both felonies and misdemeanors. DNA expungement is not automatic, as the burden falls to the individual to request expungement, which is rarely granted. As a result, many DNA profiles remain in the system although the juvenile criminal records have long been sealed or expunged.
For this reason, I plan to introduce legislation only requiring DNA collection for juveniles tried as adults or adjudicated delinquent for serious sexual and violent offenses, such as murder and rape. Moreover, the legislation would require the automatic expungement of DNA collected for juveniles at the time the applicable offense would be eligible for expungement.
It is imperative we improve DNA collection requirements and expungement in order to further promote rehabilitation in the juvenile justice system. Please join me in co-sponsoring this vital legislation.

Introduced as HB841