After Sandusky scandal, panel recommends wholesale rewrite of PA child protection law

The Morning Call

By John L. Micek, Call Harrisburg Bureau

1:30 p.m. EST, November 27, 2012

— A special task force charged with reviewing and recommending changes to Pennsylvania’s child protection law called Tuesday for expanding the definition of child abuse and the list of those required to report it.

The 11-member Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a catalog of recommended reforms that it hopes will serve as a starting point for an ongoing conversation on efforts to protect children.

Tom Corbett “This needs to be an ongoing dialogue,” the panel’s chairman, Bucks County District Attorney David W. Heckler, said. “This isn’t something that’s going to be accomplished in six months.”

The panel’s report calls for, among other things, a complete rewrite of Pennsylvania’s child protection law. It also recommends creating new offenses and stiffening the penalties for existing crimes, such as the possession of child pornography.

The panel was formed by the Legislature last year in the wake of the arrest of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. It held 11 public hearings throughout 2012, taking testimony from more than 60 people with hands-on experience in child protection issues.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.