Department of Corrections ends system wide lockdown

Department of Corrections ends system wide lockdown

After 12 days the state prison system is no longer on lockdown.

Since August 29, Pennsylvania’s 24 prisons limited mail and visitors while revoking inmate privileges to deal with an outbreak of unknown illnesses to inmates and staffers.

From May 31 to September 1, more than 50 staff members and 33 inmates were taken to outside hospitals for treatment for exposure to illicit drugs. Subsequent tests showed synthetic drugs, including cannabinoids, as the cause in some of the situations.

Monday, September 10, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Wetzel talks prison lock down, K2 and more

Wetzel talks prison lock down, K2 and more

The PLS Reporter sat down with Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel on Thursday to talk about recent turmoil in state prisons thought to be connected to synthetic drugs.

Last Wednesday all correctional facilities in Pennsylvania were placed on an indefinite lock down after multiple staff fell sick due to an unknown substance.

Thursday, September 6, 2018/Author: Kara Barmoy
Categories: Video
State prison system on lockdown as unknown substances sicken employees

State prison system on lockdown as unknown substances sicken employees

All state correctional institutions are on indefinite lockdown Wednesday as the administration deals with more reports of unknown substances sickening state corrections officers.

During August, 29 staff members have fallen ill in ten of Pennsylvania's prisons after coming into contact with the substances. State Police testing since has only revealed that one case involved synthetic cannabinoids.

“The safety and security of our employees is my number one concern,” Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said in a statement. “Our state prisons, especially those in the western part of the state, have experienced recent incidents in which employees have been sickened and we need to get to the bottom of this issue now.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Prison closure bill primed for amendments after House hearing

Prison closure bill primed for amendments after House hearing

Legislation to add procedures as to how public safety buildings are shuttered has worked its way through the General Assembly, and House State Government Committee focused on it at a hearing Monday.

SB 748, from Sen. David Argall (R-Schuykill), and its companion HB 1606 from Rep. Jeff Wheeland (R-Lycoming), would require 12-months’ written notice to local and state officials before a prison or state police building is closed down.

Monday, June 18, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
As Governor prepares to sign criminal justice bill, sights turn to future reform

As Governor prepares to sign criminal justice bill, sights turn to future reform

With one bill waiting for a signature, another waiting for tinkering in the Senate and Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery) on his side, Governor Tom Wolf announced his desire to push criminal justice reforms through the legislature Thursday.

The proposed agenda includes state funding for public defenders, building a standardized risk assessment tool for judges assigning bail and a “clean slate” law to help minor criminals clear their records and rejoin society.

Friday, April 13, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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