Governor Wolf Signs 'Risk Assessment' Domestic Violence Bill

Tony Romeo
April 16, 2018 - 2:03 pm
Governor Wolf

Photo Credit: Tony Romeo


HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) -- Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed a bill intended to improve judges’ ability to evaluate the threat posed by defendants in domestic violence cases. 

Judges use ‘risk assessment’ tools – such as examining criminal backgrounds – when setting bail in domestic violence cases. Dubbed “Tierne’s Law,” in memory of a woman who was kidnapped and murdered by her estranged husband, the bill signed by Governor Wolf is intended to clarify and expand judges’ use of risk assessment.

“And this is something that judges do right now routinely," the governor said. "This bill gives them the resource to allow them to more objectively look at situations, so that they’re not missing something.”

Tierne’s law also adds strangulation to the offenses for which police officers can make an arrest without warrant when committed against a family or household member. The governor is urging swift action on several other domestic violence bills the Senate sent to the House last month.