S.F. 1586/ H.F. 1945 was revised on April 9, 2012, adding additional penalties for parents, guardians or caregivers who confine or restraint children which results in demonstrable bodily harm. Demonstrable bodily harm is bodily harm capable of being perceived by a person other than the victim. These penalties include up to 2 years in prison, or a fine up to $4,000, or both. This bill is expected to be signed by Governor Dayton in the next week.
The bill is inspired by the case in Dexter, Minnesota where a couple was convicted of chaining their 5-year-old son to his crib and withholding food from his older brother. Under current law, the couple could only be charged with a gross misdemeanor for chaining their son. But if someone had done the same thing to someone else's child, the person could be charged with a felony. Cited from The Post Bulletin, Rochester MN.
How might these criminal penalties affect families in the child protection system?
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