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Defining the powers of the several courts of quarter sessions of the peace, within this Commonwealth, with reference to the care, treatment and control of dependent, neglected, incorrigible and delinquent children, under the age of sixteen years, and providing for the means in which such power may be exercised.
Whereas, The welfare of the State demands that children should be guarded from association and contact with crime and criminals, and the ordinary process of the criminal law does not provide such treatment and care and moral encouragement as are essential to all children in the formative period of life, but endangers the whole future of the child;
And Whereas, Experience has shown that children, lacking proper parental care or guardianship, are led into courses of life which may render them liable to the pains and penalties of the criminal law of the State, although in fact the real interests of such child or children require that they be not incarcerated in penitentiaries and jails, as members of the criminal class, but be subjected to a wise care, treatment and control, that their evil tendencies may be checked and their better instincts may be strengthened;
And Whereas, To that end, it is important that the powers of the courts, in respect to the care, treatment and control over dependent, neglected, delinquent and incorrigible children, should be clearly distinguished from the powers exercised in the administration of the criminal law:
Section 1. Be it enacted, &c., That the courts of courts of quarter quarter sessions of the peace, within the several coun.
ties of this Commonwealth, shall have and possess full jurisdiction in all proceedings which may be brought before them affecting the treatment and control of dependent, neglected, incorrigible and delin
quent children, under the age of sixteen years; and "Dependent child for the purpose of this act the words "dependent child”
and “neglected child" shall mean any child who is destitute, homeless, abandoned, or dependent upon the
public for support, or who has not proper parental "Incorrigible chll.
care or guardianship. The words "incorrigible children” shall mean any child who is charged by its parent or guardian with being unmanageable. The words "delinquent child" shall mean any child, including such as have heretofore been designated "incorrigible children,” who may be charged with the violation of any law of this Commonwealth, or the ordinance of any city, borough or township.
The powers of the court of quarter sessions of the judge.
peace, as provided for in this act, may be exercised by
and neglected child" defined.
Powers of the
any one or more judges of such court, who may be
Section 2. The powers of the court may be exercised: court.
(1) Upon the petition of any citizen, resident of the Petition. county, setting forth that a child is neglected, dependent or delinquent, and is in need of the care and protection of the court.
(2) Whenever any magistrate or justice of the peace, in committing a child arrested for an indictable of fence, shall certify that, in his opinion, the good of Certificate of the child and the interests of the State do not require justice of the a prosecution upon an indictment, under the criminal laws of the Commonwealth.
(3) Whenever, after return made by a magistrate of the proceedings, upon the arrest of such delinquent child for an indictable offence, the district attorney of the county, either before or after the indictment, shall certify that, in his opinion, the good of the child and Certificate of the the interests of the State do not require a prosecution upon an indictment, under the criminal laws of this Commonwealth.
(4) Whenever, upon the trial of any indictment of such delinquent child, the judge trying the cause is Action of the of opinion that the good of the child and the interests judge. of the State do not require a conviction under the criminal laws of this Commonwealth.
Upon the filing of any petition, as above set forth, or whenever the jurisdiction of the court has attached by the filing of a certificate of a magistrate or justice of the peace, or of the district attorney, or by the action of a judge, as above set forth, it shall be within the power of the judge, holding said juvenile court, judge. to make all necessary orders for compelling the production of such child, and the attendance of the parents and all persons having the custody or control of the child, or with whom the child may be; and pending the final disposition of any case, the child Custody and conshall be subject to the order of the court, and may be permitted to remain in the control of its parents or the person having it in charge, or of the probation officer, or may be kept in some place provided by the State or county authorities, or by any association hav. ing for one of its objects the care of delinquent or neglected children, as the court may order.
Section 3. The court shall appoint or designate one or more discreet persons, of good character, to serve probation officers. as probation officers during the pleasure of the court;
Power of the
Commitment of child.
said probation officers to receive no compensation from
Section 4. At the hearing, the judge or judges hold-
in either such case it shall be within the power of Order on parents the court to make an order upon the parent or parents
of any such child to contribute to the support of the
further provided that, in all cases in which a delinDischarge from quent child shall be committed to the care of a reform
atory institution, when such child shall be discharged
Section 5. In any case where the court shall award
act, the child shall, unless otherwise ordered, become Guardianship.
a ward, and be subject to the guardianship of the asso-
Such guardianship shall not include the guarto include estate. dianship of any estate of the child.
Section 6. In the case of a delinquent child, the
court may continue the hearing from time to time; Care of the child. and may commit the child to the care and guardian
ship of a probation officer, duly appointed by the court,
fine child in jail,
may appear to be necessary; or the court may commit the child to the care and guardianship of the probation officer, to be placed in a suitable family home, subject to the supervision of such probation officer; or it may authorize the said probation officer to board out the said child in some suitable family home, in case provision is made by voluntary contribution or otherwise for the payment of the board of such child, until a suitable provision may be made for the child in a home without such payment; or the court may commit the child to a suitable institution for the care of delinquent children, or to any society, duly incorporated, having for one of its objects the protection of dependent or delinquent children.
Section 7. No child, pending a hearing under the provisions of this act, shall be held in confinement in any county or other jail, police station, or in any in- Unlawful to con. stitution to which adult convicts are sentenced.
police station, etc. Section 8. No order for the commitment of any child, in any proceedings had under this act, shall extend to Limit of commita period beyond when such child shall attain the age of twenty-one years.
Section 9. The court, in making all orders for the commitment of children, shall place them, as far as possible, in care and custody of persons having the same religious belief as the parents of the child, or with some association which is controlled by persons of such religious belief; and shall, as far as possible, Religious belief, provide, in making orders of commitment, that the care, custody and discipline of the child shall be as nearly as possibly that which should be given by its parents. In all cases where it can properly be done, the child shall be placed in an approved family home, Approved family and become a member of the family by legal adoption or otherwise.
Section. 10. It shall not be lawful to commit the custody of any delinquent child, under the age of twelve years, to any institution of correction or ref- Under the age of ormation, unless, after the care and oversight given such child under the probation system provided for by this act, the court finds that the best interests of the child and the welfare of the community require such commitment; and it shall not be lawful to commit the custody of any neglected or dependent child, who is delinquent, to any institution of correction or reformation in which delinquent children are received, nor shall any delinquent child be committed to any institution in which dependent or neglected children are received.
Section 11. Nothing herein contained shall be in derogation of the powers of the courts of quarter sessions and oyer and terminer to try, upon an indict. Trials upon inment, any delinquent child who, in due course, may be brought to trial.
Act of May 21, 1901, cited.
Section 12. An act, entitled “An act to regulate the treatment and control of dependent, neglected and delinquent children, under the age of sixteen years; providing for the establishment of juvenile courts; regulating the practice before such courts; providing for the appointment of probation officers; prohibiting the commitment to jail or police station of a child under fourteen years of age; providing for the appointment, compensation and duties of agents of juvenile reformatories; imposing certain duties upon the Board of Public Charities of this State; regulating the incorporation of associations for the care of dependent, neg. lected or delinquent children; prohibiting foreign associations from placing children in homes in this State, for adoption or under indenture, except under certain conditions; providing for the appointment of a board of visitors, and repealing acts and parts of acts in. consistent with the provisions of this act," approved the twenty-first day of May, one thousand nine hundred and one, and all acts or parts of acts inconsistent herewith are repealed. Approved–The 23d day of April, A. D. 1903.
SAML. W. PENNYPACKER.
To repeal an act, entitled "An act authorizing the making of new indexes of the records contained in the deed books in the recorder's office of Allegheny county, and regulating the manner in which the same shall hereafter be kept," approved March thirtieth, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight.
Section 1. Be it enacted, &c., That an act, entitled “An act authorizing the making of new indexes of the records contained in the deed books in the recorder's office of Allegheny county, and regulating the manner in which the same shall hereafter be kept," approved March thirtieth, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, be and the same is hereby repealed. Approved-The 23d day of April, A. D. 1903.
SAML. W. PENNYPACKER.