House Bill 3 — Child protection, neglected

House Bill 3 — Child protection, neglected

by
Parrish Miller
January 19, 2021

Bill Description: House Bill 3 makes it clear that allowing children to engage in normal childhood activities is not an act of parental neglect. 

Rating: +2

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for nonviolent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes?

H0003 amends Section 16-1602, Idaho Code, by modifying the definition of a neglected child to limit triggering acts or omissions to those that result "in bodily injury or a substantial risk of bodily injury or a substantial risk of immediate and grave harm to the child due to the conscious disregard of parental or caretaker responsibilities." 

Language is also added regarding "an obviously dangerous situation given the child's level of maturity, physical condition, or mental abilities due to the conscious disregard of obvious needs or obvious dangers to the child." 

Taken together, this revised definition should serve to protect families from unnecessary investigations or prosecutions for harmless and low-risk choices made in the course of child rearing. 

(+1)

H0003 further amends Section 16-1602, Idaho Code, to add a non-exhaustive list of "independent activities" in which children may lawfully engage without being considered neglected. 

Included on this list are "traveling to and from school, including by walking, running, or bicycling"; "traveling to and from nearby commercial or recreational facilities"; "engaging in outdoor play"; "remaining at home unattended"; and "remaining in a vehicle if the temperature inside the vehicle is not or will not become dangerously hot or cold".

While common sense shouldn't have to be legislated, doing so has become increasingly necessary to protect families and parental rights.

(+1)

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