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NCJ Number: 51265 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: CONSTABLES OF PENNSYLVANIA - CRITICAL SURVEY, 1976
Author(s): D S POSNER
Corporate Author: Pennsylvania Administrative Office of the Courts
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 111
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Pennsylvania Administrative Office of the Courts
Philadelphia, PA 19102
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: DS-75-C-2A-9-712
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE STATUS OF CONSTABLES IN PENNSYLVANIA - THEIR DUTIES, NUMBERS, COMPENSATION, QUALIFICATIONS, TRAINING, SUPPORT, SUPERVISION, CONTROLS, - IS DOCUMENTED.
Abstract: CONSTABLES ARE ELECTED BY TOWNSHIPS, BOROUGHS, OR WARDS, AND ARE RESPONSIBLE TO THE COURT IN THEIR JURISDICTION. THEIR DUTIES INCLUDE SERVICE OF CIVIL PROCESS (COMPLAINTS, EXECUTIONS, EVICTIONS); SERVICE OF CRIMINAL PROCESS (ARREST WARRANTS, COMMITMENTS, RELEASES, TRAFFIC WARRANTS, SUBPOENAS); AND PROTECTION OF THE POLLS ON ELECTION DAY. AT TIMES THEY PROVIDE, WITHOUT COMPENSATION, SECURITY FOR DISTRICT JUDGES. IN AN UNOFFICIAL CAPACITY, THEY GUARD PRIVATE BUSINESSES AND COLLECT DEBTS BEFORE JUDGMENT. ASSESSMENT OF THE STATUS OF THE CONSTABLE IN PENNSYLVANIA INVOLVED SITE VISITS TO 10 COUNTIES AND A MAIL SURVEY OF OTHER JURISDICTIONS. THE STUDY FOUND THAT THE BASIC FEE FOR THE CONSTABLE'S SERVICES - $5.00 PER PAPER OFTEN IS INSUFFICIENT COMPENSATION FOR THE TIME AND RISK INVOLVED. SOME INSTANCES OF IMPROPER REQUESTS FOR PAYMENT WERE FOUND. ALTHOUGH A FEW CONSTABLES EARNED OVER $50,000 PER YEAR, THE AVERAGE INCOME AMONG ACTIVE CONSTABLES IS BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL. IT WAS FOUND THAT THERE ARE TOO MANY CONSTABLES IN PENNSYLVANIA, MANY OF WHOM ARE INACTIVE. THERE ARE NO MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE OFFICE. MANY CONSTABLES ARE ELDERLY AND INFIRM, HAVE LITTLE OR NO TRAINING, AND ARE POORLY SUPERVISED. THE RESULT IS INCONSISTENT AND POOR SERVICE OF PROCESS. SOME COUNTIES HAVE ESTABLISHED CENTRALIED DISTRIBUTION OF PROCESS, AND SOME COURTS HAVE APPOINTED THEIR OWN CONSTABLES, PROHIBITING SERVICE BY ELECTED CONSTABLES. RECOMMENDATIONS INCLUDE INCREASING COMPENSATION FOR CONSTABLES, CONSIDERING OPTIONS FOR SELECTING CONSTABLES, ALLOWING THE COMMONWEALTH'S SUPREME COURT TO DETERMINE THE NUMER OF CONSTABLES, AUDITING COMPENSATION TO CONSTABLES, AND ESTABLISHING MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE OFFICE. THE CREATION OF STATE GUIDELINES AND STANDARDS TO SUPPORT LOCAL SUPERVISION OF CONSTABLES IS ADVISED. SUPPORTING DATA AND DOCUMENTATION ARE INCLUDED IN FIVE APPENDICES. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Court personnel; Pennsylvania; Personnel minimum standards; Studies; Warrants
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51265

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