Sep. 14, 2020
LUZERNE – After reports of an inmate engaging in an unprovoked attack against a counselor at State Correctional Institution (SCI) at Dallas, Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) is calling for further legislative reform to increase penalties to deter situations like this from occurring in the future. Kaufer provided the following statement on the matter:
“In light of the recent attack at SCI Dallas and the numerous other incidents in prisons over the last several years, I believe that is crucial to our corrections officers and others who are on the front lines that we do everything possible to make sure they are safe,” said Kaufer. “The fact corrections officers are in contact with the prisoners daily gives them a better perspective on inmates, their personalities and the appropriate steps that should be taken to ensure the safety of all people in the prison.
“As things continue to unfold, I think it is vitally necessary to make sure our corrections officers are part of the process when prisoners are moved around into different levels of security within the prison itself. We have a duty and responsibility to provide a safe environment for all, and there is no time to wait when we are talking about the safety of the men and women working in our prisons. We should take affirmative legislative steps moving forward to make sure issues like the one most recently, never occur again.”
Pennsylvania State Correction Officers Association President Larry Blackwell added, “We have been asking for more legislative oversight to the Department of corrections Secretary Wetzel in how assaults are being reported and lack of following through with disciplining inmates for misconduct inside the facilities.
“Our state prisons are becoming more violent every day. House Bill 256
sponsored by Rep. Carl Metzger was signed into law this bill makes an assault by prisoner a first-degree felony and we need to make sure the inmate gets charged and prosecuted under this. The district attorneys need to be made aware that reducing this charge or pleading to a lesser offense with concurrent sentencing is unacceptable, even if the inmate is already doing life. There is a big push to grant inmates that are doing life commutation by our lieutenant governor and we need to make sure that this inmate that has a documented violent behavior is not eligible for that.”
Further information on this incident can be found by clicking the following this link
For more information about this outreach, or any other state-related issue, contact Kaufer’s district office in Luzerne located at 161 Main St., by calling 570-283-1001. Information can also be found online at RepKaufer.com
Representative Aaron Kaufer
120th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abby Krueger