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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 2336 (April 27, 2024).

237 Pa. Code Rule 139. Use of Restraints on the Juvenile.

Rule 139. Use of Restraints on the Juvenile.

 Restraints shall be removed prior to the commencement of a proceeding unless the court determines on the record, after providing the juvenile an opportunity to be heard, that they are necessary to prevent:

   1)  physical harm to the juvenile or another person;

   2)  disruptive courtroom behavior, evidenced by a history of behavior that created potentially harmful situations or presented substantial risk of physical harm; or

   3)  the juvenile, evidenced by an escape history or other relevant factors, from fleeing the courtroom.


   The use of any restraints, such as handcuffs, chains, shackles, irons, or straitjackets, is highly discouraged. The routine use of restraints on juveniles is a practice contrary to the philosophy of balanced and restorative justice and undermines the goals of providing treatment, supervision, and rehabilitation to juveniles. Therefore, restraints should not be used in most instances. However, there are some circumstances when juveniles need to be restrained to protect themselves and others and to maintain security in the courtroom. See 42 Pa.C.S. §  6301 for purposes of the Juvenile Act.

   Official Note

   Rule 139 adopted April 26, 2011, effective June 1, 2011.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining the provisions of Rule 139 published with the Court’s Order at 41 Pa.B. 2429 (May 14, 2011).


   The provisions of this Rule 139 adopted April 26, 2011, effective June 1, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 2429.

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