Pennsylvania Governor: Children free to leave Berks County Residential Center
This letter below is in response to a letter we wrote requesting the Pennsylvania (“PA”) State government to revoke the license it issued for the Berks County Residential Center (“BCRC”) given that it detains children in violation of numerous sections of the Pennsylvania law regarding child welfare.
As you can see, the PA government clearly states that there is nothing that should prohibit children and their families from freely leaving the BCRC.
As such, it is a mystery that no children or mothers have been allowed to leave the BCRC freely. It may have something to do with all of the locked doors and guards preventing the children and mothers from leaving the BCRC.
Given that there are in fact locks and guards preventing children and their mothers from leaving BCRC, the PA government will have to revoke the BCRC’s license and shut it down.
“Dear Mr. Johnson:
Thank you for your March 23, 2015, letter to Ms. Roseann Perry and Governor Tom Wolf regarding children housed at the Berks County Residential Center (BCRC). My office regulates child residential facilities, and Governor Wolf has asked me to respond.
On February 18, 2015, the Bureau of Human Services Licensing conducted a full licensing inspection of BCRC. At that time, the center was in substantial compliance with regulatory requirements and met all conditions for licensing under 55 Pa. Code Chapter 3800 (relating to child residential and day treatment facilities). Consequently, a license was issued effective February 21, 2015 to February 21, 2016.
During the renewal inspection, our regulators confirmed that BCRC is not operating as a secure care facility and has no locks preventing resident children or their families from gaining egress from the building. In addition, there were no children present at the facility who were not accompanied by a parent or other adult guardian.
I appreciate your concern for the health, safety and well-being of these children and families, and I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Mr. Matthew J. Jones, Director, Bureau of Human Services Licensing, at…”