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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 3, 2018 11:51 AM
From: Representative Carl Walker Metzgar
To: All House members
Subject: State Correctional Institutions Safety Reform
Since 2015, there have been 3,751 instances of inmates assaulting Pennsylvania correction facility staff. To help curb this extreme violence, I plan to introduce a seven-bill package to further protect prison staff and the public from these dangerous criminals.

It is clear the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ policies have failed to protect the staff and officers that protect us from the state’s most dangerous criminals. In addition to the 3,571 attacks on prison staff, there were 3,364 prisoner-on-prisoner assaults. This clearly shows our fearless correction officers being targeted for attack by these prisoners.

The bills would address seven key areas to improve safety for Department of Corrections (DOC) staff and the public. The bills would also provide tougher penalties on inmates who assault prison staff.

Please join me in helping to protect Pennsylvania's corrections officers by co-sponsoring this legislation.

Document #1

Introduced as HB256

Description: Proposal #1 (Former HB 2734): Redefine assault on a prison staff member to reflect there is a lower threshold for an assault to occur when committed by an inmate on staff.

Document #2

Introduced as HB261

Description: Proposal #2 (Former HB 2731): Eliminate parole eligibility for inmates convicted of staff assault.

Document #3

Introduced as HB258

Description: Proposal #3 (Former HB 2732): Place inmates who assault staff on the restricted release list, confining them to the restricted housing unit (RHU). Additionally, they cannot be released without a regional deputy secretary’s approval. 

Document #4

Introduced as HB257

Description: Proposal #4 (Former HB 2730): Impose a mandatory five-year sentence for those convicted of staff assault, served consecutive to a prior sentence, and a $5,000 fine against the inmate’s commissary account.

Document #5

Introduced as HB260

Description: Proposal #5 (Former HB 2729): Prohibit inmate access to boots, as this was the weapon used to kill Sgt. Baserman. Currently, the DOC still allows inmates to possess state-issued boots.

Document #6

Introduced as HB259

Description: Proposal #6 (Former HB 2729): Mandate two guards per guard tower armed with autoloading rifles, with a minimum of 500 rounds per rifle pre-loaded in magazines.

Document #7

Introduced as HB263

Description: Proposal #7 (Former HB 2733): Restrict commissary eligibility after a staff assault without a regional deputy secretary’s approval.