Oct. 26, 2022

HARRISBURG – A resolution sponsored by Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) to study the cost of a safety plan for staffing of state correctional institutions in Pennsylvania was adopted by the House of Representatives today. 

“Corrections officers perform a vital and essential role in our state prisons. They serve as a voice of authority while ensuring the safety and welfare of prisoners,” said Kaufer. “Despite dealing with some of the most dangerous criminals imaginable, these courageous law enforcement officers disrupt violent conflicts, ensure order and help to rehabilitate prisoners. That is why I am introducing legislation requesting this important review to enhance their safety.”

House Resolution 174 directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to conduct a thorough and comprehensive study on the cost of implementing a safety plan for staffing on Level 3 and Level 4 housing units within state correctional institutions. The study will determine the cost to have those units staffed by at least two correctional officers per pod where inmates are permitted freedom of movements from their cells.

According to Kaufer, seven Pennsylvania Department of Corrections officers or employees have been killed in the line of duty as a result of an assault since 1954. The most recent death occurred in 2018 at SCI Somerset when a corrections officer was assaulted and kicked in the head by an inmate. There have also been a growing number of major assaults on correction officers in state prisons. A major assault is one that inflicts injuries that require the victim to be taken for medical treatment outside the prison.  

The LBFC is to submit a report to the House of Representatives containing its findings and recommendations resulting from the study no later than Aug. 31, 2023.

Representative Aaron Kaufer
120th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Melissa Fox
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