HARRISBURG – The Senate Judiciary Committee approved new protections against assault and abuse for employees in non-secure youth shelters, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Scott Martin (R-13).
Pennsylvania law currently 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.
Senate Bill 107 would add non-secure youth shelter employees to the list of employees who are protected against violence. The bill allows youth offenders to be charged with aggravated assault regardless of whether the offender is already in the delinquency system.
A number of individuals are already protected by state law in this way, including teachers, law enforcement personnel, juvenile detention workers and judicial employees.
“Non-secure youth shelters provide critical services to young people who have extraordinary educational, behavioral and emotional needs. The employees at these facilities fill a vital role in the development of young people, and they should have the peace of mind to know that state law provides stronger options to ensure their safety,” Martin said. “We have seen numerous troubling examples in which employees have been put at risk, and that is something we need to eliminate as soon as possible.”
The bill was sent to the full Senate for consideration.
CONTACT: Terry Trego (717) 787-6535