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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 4, 2020 02:40 PM
From: Senator Scott Martin
To: All Senate members
Subject: Protecting Youth Shelter Workers
Soon I will be reintroducing Senate Bill 107 of the 2019-20 legislative session to protect employees at non-secure youth shelters against assault and abuse.

Non-secure youth shelters play a critical role in managing a child’s welfare by providing a range of services for dependent children, as well as young people who are under the jurisdiction of the delinquency system. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania law does not allow a young person who becomes violent with shelter employees to be charged with aggravated assault unless that child is already in the delinquency system.

There is an exhaustive list of individuals who are protected from assault under 18 Pa. C.S. §2702(c), including teachers, police officers, members of the General Assembly, the Governor, correctional facility employees, and others. An individual who assaults one of these protected individuals could be charged with aggravated assault. My legislation would extend the same protection to non-secure shelter employees who are assaulted by a dependent youth, regardless of whether that young person is already in the delinquency system.

I believe this change in language will allow for greater discretion in response to aggressive youth behavior and ensure young people who become assaultive do not jeopardize the welfare of employees or other children.

Previous cosponsors include Senators Mensch, Browne, Baker, Hutchinson, Costa and Brewster.
I hope you will consider joining me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB62