Lancaster County Officials hope increased education will help prevent violations of PFA’s
LANCASTER, Pa.– The Lancaster County Sheriff and District Attorney are hoping that by increasing education that fewer people will violate protection-from-abuse orders.
Every year, about 1,000 people receive PFA orders in Lancaster County, with hundreds that are violated every year.
Now, when a person receives a PFA, they will also receive an instructional brochure on what they are legally able to do, and what they cannot do. The brochures give instructions to individuals while also keeping in mind the person who filed the petition needs to remain safe.
“We do not want anyone to get hurt and we do not want anyone arrested,” Stedman said, noting that violations will still be prosecuted as they always have.
Officials say that individuals that receive PFA’s don’t always understand their rights, and a violation, such as contacting the person, will land the offender in prison.
“We recognize the PFA process is emotionally charged and results in about 200 violations a year,” Stedman said. “We want to reduce that number. The goal here is education and prevention.”
Stedman credited Sheriff Reese and Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker for their work together on the project.
“The pamphlets are provided so those who have been served a PFA understand what their rights are, how to appropriately respond and avoid unnecessary problems,” Sheriff Reese said Tuesday.