Governor Wolf Reminds Pennsylvanians that Law to Increase Penalties for Endangering Children is Now in Effect

August 29, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today reminded Pennsylvanians that Act 12 of 2017, renewing the commonwealth’s commitment to the safety of its children and increasing penalties for those who carelessly and flagrantly endanger them, is now in effect after the 60-day implementation phrase that began June 29.

House Bill 217, passed unanimously by both the House and Senate, strengthens Pennsylvania’s child endangerment laws and further protects children from abuse and mistreatment

“It’s truly gratifying that this important law is now in effect to protect our most precious and vulnerable Pennsylvanians – our children,” Governor Wolf said. “This law will help to protect them from harm and ensure that they can grow up in a safe environment and develop into successful and happy adults.”

The law allows the courts to take into account the age of a child who is put in danger, as well as the degree of harm done, in order to more accurately reflect the reality of the situation when deciding how to prosecute those who harm children.

Age and level-of-harm distinctions will work by increasing the penalty based on the degree of harm the child is placed in by the individual and increasing the penalty by one grade if the child is under six years old. The law also requires the court to consider ordering an individual convicted of endangering a child to undergo counseling.

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