Corrections officers, lawmakers meet to discuss safety concerns at state prisons


KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Corrections officers from two state prisons in our region — SCI Dallas and SCI Waymart — met Thursday to talk about safety concerns. This after two violent attacks at SCI Dallas in recent weeks.

Corrections officers say their pleas for support from officials at the State Department of Corrections are falling on deaf ears.

There have been two violent attacks at SCI Dallas in the last month, on September 10th a female counselor was brutally assaulted by an inmate. She is still recovering from serious injuries.

On September 21st an inmate stabbed another inmate several dozen times, the victim survived.

The people sitting at these tables are sounding the alarm and the union that represents them, the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association, was also in attendance.

“This is giving the members and employees the opportunity to come and speak to their local senators and representatives about the problems that happen at their facilities and now they can talk uncensored and be free to talk about their concerns they have of the safety inside the prisons,” said Mark Truszkowski, Eastern Vice President of PSCOA.

“What needs to be done is more oversight from the legislature to the Secretary of Corrections to put pressure on them to make sure we are holding inmates accountable for bad behavior. It’s in our name we are the Department of Corrections,” said Larry Blackwell, President of PSCOA.

State lawmakers say they will take the information they are hearing and turn it into action in Harrisburg.

“These are working families here in Pennsylvania. They deserve to know when they go to do a very dangerous job the Department of Corrections has their back,” Sen. John Yudichak (I) 14th District said.

“To be able to have an honest dialogue about what kind of changes we can do here in the Commonwealth policy-wide to support our Corrections Officers and people inside the prison in general,” said Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R) 120th District.

Corrections officers say the lack of manpower is always an issue. But also they don’t feel that inmates are being held accountable for their bad actions.

Eyewitness News reached out to the Department of Corrections for comment and thus far have not had a response.

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