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Pennsylvania Parole, Probation, Work Release, Halfway Houses & Community Service All information relating to parole, probation, halfway houses, community service and electronic monitoring in Pennsylvania should be posted here.

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Old 05-06-2019, 02:41 PM
ejxlch ejxlch is offline
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Default Sex Offender Home Plan Denied

My friend is incarcerated because of a non-violent sex offence. He owns his own home. I made sure that everything was all set there, and the inspection went well, the inspector told me that the house was fine but he was concerned about the location being within 2 blocks of a place where youth gather. He ended up being denied because of that. I am at a loss at what happens now? From what I have read a halfway house, but what happens after that? Will he ever be able to live in the house that he owns before his parole is completed. Before he bought the property, he asked his lawyer if it was ok, and was told that because he was a tier 1 offender, he could live anywhere, so he bought the property. Any info or advice would be appreciated.

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Old 05-06-2019, 03:14 PM
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I hope his parole is short....unless the PO gives his permission, he most likely will not be able to return to his own home. Even if one PO says its ok, PO's are change all the time with the new PO setting different rules. What kind of place is it, where the youth gather?


Every state is a tad different....read as much as you can about PA Sex Offender Laws:
https://www.pccd.pa.gov/criminaljust...ation-Law.aspx



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Old 05-06-2019, 03:30 PM
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It is some sort of teen center.

Last edited by ejxlch; 05-06-2019 at 03:35 PM.. Reason: Typing Error
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:31 PM
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It is some kind of a ministry center. Is there any kind of appeal possible? I don't know how it all works. Thanks for your reply!
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:39 PM
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I'm not terribly familiar with PA's policies, procedures, so laws.....since it was denied by Parole, you could try speaking to the supervisor in that PO Office. But ask your friend first because sometimes rocking the boat can come back to bite him on the butt. A pissed off PO is Not how your friend wants or needs to start his parole
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Old 05-06-2019, 05:00 PM
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No Pennsylvania law restricts where a registered sex offender can live, but some local jurisdictions (county, city. etc.) have passed their own restrictions. Your friend's problem lies with his parole officer who can decide (and apparently has) he can't live in his own house for as long as he remains on supervision.

Unless he can get the PO office to change their minds, he can not live there without earning a quick return to prison. Taking it to court is a lengthy and expensive process, but be sure to monitor any pending PA Supreme Court rulings on SO residency restrictions. He should also ask the ACLU for their opinion.
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:09 PM
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How can parole officers make up their own laws if it's not an actual law? I would consult with an attorney to see if he has the power to overwrite a law. I was under the assumption, the parole conditions have to be reasonable related to the crime, and any restrictions should have been in the court order, signed by the Judge? What if parole decides you can't eat cereal because kids like it? There has to be guidelines they have to follow. Just my opinion. Here in California, some people were ordered to wear an ankle monitor, even though the judge did not order it. They went back to court to fight it and won.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:17 PM
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If the PO is using a "place where minors gather" as a reason for denying a home plan, I believe that's written in the registry laws (Megan's Law). Depending on how long he's owned the home, he could possibly, maybe, I hope! be grandfathered in. Often, and this is my opinion only, SO laws are complicated and open to interpretation to suit LE's purpose.

I mean, who makes up this crap: When figuring the distance for residency requirements, it has to be figured as the crow flies....even if there is a raging river and no bridge between the residence and the _______________ (fill in the blank with :school, playground, McDonalds Playland, daycare, church with a daycare, etc etc etc)
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:44 PM
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Minors gather at malls, parks, beaches, schools, movie theaters...you get it. What's left? He should be grandfathered in, as the term "where minors gather" is pretty vague.
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:55 AM
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Parole/probation officers can impose many restrictions while someone is under their supervision. Many of them work directly for the courts, so they can do whatever the judge's orders tell them to do.

Here's what Pennsylvania says about parole. Supervision starts on page 21:
https://www.cor.pa.gov/parole-superv...20Handbook.pdf

Here are the underlying laws:

A couple Pennsylvania statutes provide an example of a setup for parole conditions. One statute lays out general parole conditions for all parolees. (37 Pa. Code § 63.4 (2017).) Another requires that parolees abide by special conditions that the Parole Board or a parole agent imposes. (37 Pa. Code § 63.5 (2017).)
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:27 AM
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Unfortunately the PO has the final word in a situation like this; but informally appealing to the POs supervisor may offer some relief but again may cause some friction between the parolee and his PO after release on parole.


As far as residential restrictions in Penn. There are none. If you call Megans Law office in Harrisburg the recording when the phone is answered even states this clearly. As far as local residential restrictions, I believe and I am quite sure that there are none in the state of Penn because by state law there is none. Fancy law talk explaining that. It has been found that if a state does not have restrictions then the local governments within that state can not have restrictions. Some have but have been taken to court and struct down.

I do know that at one time Penn State Parole would not allow a released sex offender on parole if too close to a school, park etc but I truly believe they stopped doing that years ago because is became so difficult for sex offenders to find and have a home plan approved.


I would contact the PO that did the home plan investigation and discuss the matter with him very politely. I do know of a case that a PO was not aware that a newly released sex offender parolee was allowed to live near a park and this changed the outcome of the home plan to "approved". But again that was years ago.


You can also try calling the state parole head office in Harrisburg and speak to someone anonymously and ask what the rules are. Again, it could be up to the PO investigating the home plan for the final decision. Unfortunately it is murky waters to treed.


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Every state is a tad different....read as much as you can about PA Sex Offender Laws:
https://www.pccd.pa.gov/criminaljust...ation-Law.aspx
I took a look at this link. I think it is linking to the old law SORNA which the Penn Supreme Court found to be unconstitutional over a year ago. Now the law is Act 10. The biggest determination factor was when the person was convicted as to what laws apply to that person. Timeline conviction is Dec 20, 2012.

Last edited by waitinguntil001; 05-07-2019 at 05:35 AM.. Reason: Added note
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:23 AM
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I hope you are correct about no local sex offender residency restrictions being allowed in Pennsylvania. I based my answer on what Philadelphia lawyer Brian Zeigar posted about the subject.
https://brianzeiger.com/blog/2018/06...-sex-offender/

"In addition, some sex offenders in Pennsylvania may face residency restrictions limiting where they can live. While no state law enforces statewide residency restrictions, numerous localities through PA have enacted their own laws prohibiting sex offenders from living in certain areas, usually in close proximity to schools, parks, daycares, or other areas in which children may be present on a regular basis.

Overall, knowing whether you are subject to a residency restriction—and knowing exactly what that restriction entails—can be complicated and confusing."
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:09 AM
waitinguntil001 waitinguntil001 is offline
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I hope I am not causing confusion on these subjects. What I state is not "total fact" but what I have read and experienced myself in the past years.


By all means the PO will have the final decision on these matters.



Like anything else it is best that the original poster educate themselves as much as possible by research so they have ammunition/knowledge of the subjects when speaking with people such as the PO etc but at the same time being very polite and non-demanding.


I am sure that Bob may be able to shed a bit more light on these subjects as he is very in-tune with what is going on.


As far as the write-up on the attorney's site after reading it I think that is basically pretty old information and needs some updating.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:38 AM
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Perhaps i can clear up some of the questions here.

1. The PA Supreme Court struck down ALL local ordinances which attempted to create residency restrictions. Since the Commonwealth has no such law, and since the Commonwealth has a "scheme" to oversee former sex offenders, no other AHJ can supersede the Commonwealth's "scheme."

2. The rejection of any home plan for a paroled former sex offender is automatically reviewed by the Regional Director (at least two steps over the head of the agent who initially investigated the home plan application.) The Regional Director's decision is both final and unappealable (per the Commonwealth Court.)

3. Possession/viewing/distribution/production of CP in PA is considered a violent offense. While possession/viewing/distribution don't involve physical contact or even proximity, they still constitute victimization. It may be a matter of semantics, but clinging to the idea that this is a non-violent crime will be enough for a parole agent to deny a home plan.

4. The Board's mandatory 1,000-foot restriction became discretionary about five years ago, partly due to some excellent advocacy work, but it is not completely gone. It can greatly depend on the location: In Philadelphia, it's rarely imposed because it would negate most of the city. In outlying counties, it's more common and may rest solely on perceived community objection.

5. Our SORNA has no provisions for restricting residency. It doesn't matter if the person falls under Subchapter H (Pre 12/20/2012) or Subchapter I (Post 12/20/2012). Attempts to modify our anti-loitering law also failed.

6. The Board is largely above court review in PA. Our courts have deferred to them in all but the most egregious matters. Their mandate to "protect the safety of the public" gives them sweeping authority. This question has been litigated by some of the best lawyers in Pennsylvania; no success.

I have responded to the OP via PM.
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:36 AM
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I live in a townhome community and there is one, if not two sex offenders that live in my neighborhood. We have a swimming pool, playground and basketball park. Also, there is the local elementary school that is literally right outside the entrance, meaning ALL the kids walk to and from school. Sorry if I'm adding confusion, but the fact that it got denied because youth gathers nearby sounds ridiculous in a sense considering there are sex offenders in my neighborhood. I guess it's ultimately up to each PO.
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