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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2020 03:00 PM
From: Representative Pam Snyder
To: All House members
Subject: Corrections Officers Protections Package
A few years ago a dangerous lifer slashed a prison guard’s throat at SCI-Mahanoy. The same prisoner attempted to slash another guard at SCI-Somerset last year. On February 26, 2018, Sgt. Mark Baserman was murdered at SCI-Somerset by an inmate with a history of violence inside prison. Just a few days later, two more guards were attacked by an inmate at SCI-Coal Township. These are only a small sample of the many violent attacks at state prisons in recent years.

Corrections officers know what they sign up for when they take the job. But that doesn’t absolve us of our obligation to do everything in our power to keep them safe while on duty. I believe the bills in this package provide necessary reforms to ensure the safety and security of our officers. Please join me in pushing these reforms forward.

Document #1

Introduced as HB59

Description: This bill would give corrections officers the opportunity to submit a written statement or testify in-person at parole hearings.  Requiring testimony of corrections officers would ensure they have a voice in inmate parole proceedings.

Document #2

Introduced as HB67

Description: This bill would allow all corrections officers at state correctional institutions to carry tasers.  It is modeled after my legislation, which is now law, to allow all corrections officers to carry pepper spray.

Document #3

Introduced as HB68

Description: This bill requires the Department of Corrections to establish a staffing plan that ensures no guard is ever alone while on duty, except during unforeseeable emergency circumstances