Rabb announces legislation to ensure no detention centers can operate in commonwealth

HARRISBURG, Date – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced he is reintroducing legislation that would ensure detention centers cannot operate in Pennsylvania following the recent closure of the Berks County Residential Center.

This legislation would update the state’s Human Services Code to direct the Department of Human Services to update facility licensure regulations.

“As public servants, we are charged with protecting the health and safety of people across our commonwealth. Therefore, we must take every precaution to safeguard all people, especially those members of our most vulnerable communities,” Rabb said. “Group homes are not children’s nursing homes, and child residential facilities are not family detention centers.”

With the tools the state has at hand, Rabb said, it does not have the ability to guarantee the health and safety of human beings who end up stuck in such detention centers. He said is the legislature’s constitutional responsibility to ensure it is not complicit in perpetuating a humanitarian crisis within the state’s borders.