42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 9912 - Supervisory Relationship To Offenders

§ 9912. Supervisory relationship to offenders.

(a) General rule.--Officers are in a supervisory relationship with their offenders. The purpose of this supervision is to assist the offenders in their rehabilitation and reassimilation into the community and to protect the public.

(b) Searches and seizures authorized.--

(1) Officers and, where they are responsible for the supervision of county offenders, State parole agents may search the person and property of offenders in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(2) (i) Officers may search, in accordance with the provisions of this section, the person and property of any offender who accepts ARD as a result of a charge of a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 31 (relating to sexual offenses) if the court has determined that the offender shall be subject to personal and property searches as a condition of the offender's participation in the ARD program.

(ii) The court shall notify each offender so offered ARD, prior to admission to an ARD program, that the offender shall be subject to searches in accordance with this section.

(iii) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit searches or seizures in violation of the Constitution of the United States or section 8 of Article I of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

(c) Effect of violation.--No violation of this section shall constitute an independent ground for suppression of evidence in any probation and parole or criminal proceeding.

(d) Grounds for personal search.--

(1) A personal search of an offender may be conducted by an officer:

(i) if there is a reasonable suspicion to believe that the offender possesses contraband or other evidence of violations of the conditions of supervision;

(ii) when an offender is transported or taken into custody; or

(iii) upon an offender entering or leaving the securing enclosure of a correctional institution, jail or detention facility.

(2) A property search may be conducted by an officer if there is reasonable suspicion to believe that the real or other property in the possession of or under the control of the offender contains contraband or other evidence of violations of the conditions of supervision.

(3) Prior approval of a supervisor shall be obtained for a property search absent exigent circumstances. No prior approval shall be required for a personal search.

(4) A written report of every property search conducted without prior approval shall be prepared by the officer who conducted the search and filed in the offender's case record. The exigent circumstances shall be stated in the report.

(5) The offender may be detained if he is present during a property search. If the offender is not present during a property search, the officer in charge of the search shall make a reasonable effort to provide the offender with notice of the search, including a list of the items seized, after the search is completed.

(6) The existence of reasonable suspicion to search shall be determined in accordance with constitutional search and seizure provisions as applied by judicial decision. In accordance with such case law, the following factors, where applicable, may be taken into account:

(i) The observations of officers.

(ii) Information provided by others.

(iii) The activities of the offender.

(iv) Information provided by the offender.

(v) The experience of the officers with the offender.

(vi) The experience of officers in similar circumstances.

(vii) The prior criminal and supervisory history of the offender.

(viii) The need to verify compliance with the conditions of supervision.

(e) Nonresident offenders.--No officer shall conduct a personal or property search of an offender who is residing in a foreign state except for the limited purposes permitted under the Interstate Compact for the Supervision of Parolees and Probationers. The offender is held accountable to the rules of both the sending state and the receiving state. Any personal or property search of an offender residing in another state shall be conducted by an officer of the receiving state.

(f) When authority is effective.--The authority granted to the officers under this section shall be effective upon enactment of this section, without the necessity of any further regulation by the board.

Cross References. Section 9912 is referred to in section 9911 of this title.

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Last modified: October 8, 2016