ACLU-PA Position: Supports
HB 841 (PN 1801) would amend Title 44 to limit the types of offenses for which a juvenile must provide a DNA sample after being tried as an adult or adjudicated delinquent. The bill would also require automatic expungement of juvenile DNA samples, records, or profiles once an offense is eligible for expungement.
Juvenile DNA collection has become more common due to the expansion of qualifying offenses for DNA collection. In Pennsylvania, DNA may be collected from juveniles for both felonies and misdemeanors. DNA expungement is not automatic, as the burden falls to the individual to request expungement, which is rarely granted. As a result, many DNA profiles remain in the system although the juvenile criminal records have long been sealed or expunged.
HB 841 would rein in the overuse of juvenile DNA collection, providing greater privacy protections for children involved in Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system.
Check the bill's status here.