Bill Text: PA HB831 | 2009-2010 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Providing for a Statewide gang information database.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2009-03-10 - Referred to JUDICIARY [HB831 Detail]

Download: Pennsylvania-2009-HB831-Introduced.html

  

 

    

PRINTER'S NO.  938

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

HOUSE BILL

 

No.

831

Session of

2009

  

  

INTRODUCED BY GODSHALL, BAKER, BELFANTI, BRENNAN, D. COSTA, CREIGHTON, DALEY, DALLY, GEIST, GINGRICH, GOODMAN, GROVE, HALUSKA, HARHAI, HENNESSEY, HESS, KILLION, KORTZ, KOTIK, MANN, MELIO, MILLARD, MUSTIO, O'NEILL, PALLONE, PHILLIPS, SCAVELLO, SIPTROTH, VULAKOVICH AND J. TAYLOR, MARCH 10, 2009

  

  

REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY, MARCH 10, 2009  

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

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Amending Title 44 (Law and Justice) of the Pennsylvania

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Consolidated Statutes, providing for a Statewide gang

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information database.

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The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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hereby enacts as follows:

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Section 1.  Title 44 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated

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Statutes is amended by adding a chapter to read:

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CHAPTER 25

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STATEWIDE GANG INFORMATION DATABASE

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Sec.

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2501.  Scope of chapter.

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2502.  Policy.

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2503.  Definitions.

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2504.  Powers and duties of Pennsylvania State Police.

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2505.  Expungement of data.

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2506.  Duties of criminal justice agencies.

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2507.  Confidentiality.

 


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2508.  Immunity from liability.

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§ 2501.  Scope of chapter.

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This chapter provides for the collection and sharing of

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information relating to gangs, gang activities, gang members and

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gang associates.

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§ 2502.  Policy.

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The General Assembly finds and declares that:

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(1)  According to a report by the United States

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Department of Justice National Gang Intelligence Center, 58%

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of law enforcement agencies in the United States reported

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that criminal gangs were active in their communities.

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(2)  There are more than 1,000,000 criminal gang members

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in the United States.

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(3)  Criminal gang activity may account for as much as

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80% of violent crime in the United States.

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(4)  In Pennsylvania, criminal gang activity has been

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reported in urban, suburban and rural communities.

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(5)  An organized method of collecting and sharing

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information relating to gangs, gang activities, gang members

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and gang associates with all levels of law enforcement can be

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an important tool in the Commonwealth's efforts to prevent

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and investigate crime.

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(6)  It is therefore in the best interest of the

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Commonwealth to develop and maintain a Statewide gang

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information database that is accessible by State and local

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agencies.

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§ 2503. Definitions.

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The following words and phrases when used in this chapter

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shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

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context clearly indicates otherwise:

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"Criminal justice agency."  The term shall have the same

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meaning as defined under 18 Pa.C.S. § 9102 (relating to

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definitions).

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"Criminal street gang."  An ongoing organization, association

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or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal,

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having a common name or common identifying sign or symbol,

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having as one of its primary activities the commission of

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criminal acts and whose members or associates individually or

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collectively engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal

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street gang activity. The term does not include employees

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engaged in lawful activities for their mutual aid and protection

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or the lawful activities of labor and bona fide nonprofit

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organizations or their members or agents.

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"Database."  The Statewide gang information database

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established under this chapter.

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"Gang member" or "gang associate."  A person who actively

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participates in any criminal street gang and who intentionally

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promotes, furthers or assists in any criminal act by the

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criminal street gang.

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"State."  When used in reference to parts of the United

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States other than this Commonwealth, the term shall include the

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District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and

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territories and possessions of the United States.

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§ 2504.  Powers and duties of Pennsylvania State Police.

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The Pennsylvania State Police shall have the power and duty

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to establish a Statewide gang information database, accessible

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by criminal justice agencies, that utilizes existing resources,

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networks or structures for assessing and addressing the problems

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associated with criminal street gangs. The following shall

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apply:

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(1)  The criminal street gang database shall comply with

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Federal regulations for state law enforcement databases

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shared with other law enforcement agencies, including

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auditing and access to data.

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(2)  The Pennsylvania State Police shall adopt uniform

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State criteria for entering gangs, gang members and gang

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associates into the database. Data on individuals may be

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entered only based on reasonable suspicion of criminal

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activity or actual criminal activity and must be supported by

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documentation, if documentation is available.

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(3)  Information in the database shall be available to

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all criminal justice agencies solely for gang enforcement and

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for tracking gangs, gang members and gang incidents.

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(4)  The database shall provide an Internet-based,

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multiagency, multilocation, information-sharing application

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that operates in a network fashion.

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(5)  The database shall be used solely as a criminal

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justice intelligence tool and shall not be used as evidence

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in any criminal, civil or administrative proceeding.

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(6)  A criminal justice agency may use the information

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within the database to obtain information external to the

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database to formulate the probable cause necessary to make a

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stop or arrest, except that the existence of information

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relating to an individual within the database does not by

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itself justify a stop or arrest.

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(7)  Access to the database shall be determined by the

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chief executive officer of each participating agency.

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§ 2505.  Expungement of data.

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Information about specific individuals in the database shall

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be automatically expunged if all of the following apply:

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(1)  No new or updated information has been entered into

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the database within the previous ten years.

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(2)  There are no pending criminal charges against the

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person in any Federal court or in any court in this State or

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another state.

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(3)  The person has not been convicted of a new crime in

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Federal court or in this State or another state within the

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last ten years.

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(4)  It has been ten years since the person completed his

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or her term of total confinement.

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§ 2506.  Duties of criminal justice agencies.

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Each criminal justice agency using the database shall do all

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of the following:

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(1)  Identify a system administrator responsible for

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annually auditing the use of the system within his or her

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respective agency to ensure agency compliance with policies

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established for the use of the database.

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(2)  Ensure that all users of the database receive

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training on the use of the database before granting the users

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access to the database.

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(3)  Ensure that any information entered into the

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database relates to a criminal street gang associate or gang

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member who is 12 years of age or older.

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(4)  Annually produce a gang threat assessment report

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including available data sources such as uniform crime

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reports, record management systems and entries into the

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Statewide gang database.

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§ 2507.  Confidentiality.

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The database and all contents in the database shall be

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confidential and exempt from public disclosure.

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§ 2508.  Immunity from liability.

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A public employee or public agency and a unit of local

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government or its employee shall be immune from civil liability

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for damages arising from incidents involving a person who has

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been included in the database, unless it is shown that an

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employee acted with gross negligence or in bad faith.

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Section 2.  This act shall take effect in 180 days.

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