JACKSON TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Just hours after a reported stabbing at SCI Dallas and not even two weeks following an assault of a female counselor by an inmate inside the same prison, a state lawmaker and officials met to discuss what can be done to protect the facility’s population.
State Representative Aaron Kaufer (R, 120th District) met with officals from the union that represents corrections officers at SCI Dallas and at other state prisons across the commonwealth. They insist more has to be done to protect prison staff as well as inmates.
“Today there was an inmate assault on another inmate and shouldn’t say it was an assault, the inmate was stabbed 27 times here, and actually saw blood and the shaken up staff that was here today,” says State Representative Aaron Kaufer (R) 120th District.
Kaufer and three officials from the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association (PSCOA) were on their way to meet with prison managers to discuss the September 10 attack on a female counselor when the stabbing took place.
Kaufer insists attacks like these can be prevented if the DOC implements stricter punishment on inmates.
“There’s no doubt we need to be looking at making sure there is better safety inside our state correctional institutions and making sure procedures are in place so when there are warning signs when there are threats of violent tendencies across measures take place,” Kaufer told Eyewitness News.
“A lot of the concerns are just the disciplinary process in general and how ‘laxed’ it has gotten,” Larry Blackwell, President of the PSCOA said.
Officials agree that there needs to be action taken to make sure that inmates realize there are consequences for their actions. They believe Monday’s meeting will go a long way in making that happen.
“To talk to the men and women who work there everyday who work in the housing units that sometimes feel that they don’t have a voice for the public or representatives to know what happens by a sense of accomplishment today,” SCOA Eastern Rep. Mark Truszkowski said.
A spokesperson for the State Department of Corrections issued a statement about the meeting.
“We meet regularly with Union officials and provide information to legislators. We are pleased that all parties with interests in the state prison are meeting to discuss the issues,” the statement read, in part. “It’s through these meetings and cooperation that we can all work together to ensure a safe prison for our staff and inmates.”
Representative Kaufer and the Union representing Corrections officers are planning to hold a public meeting on October 15th in Kingston to talk about their safety concerns at SCI Dallas and other State Prisons across the Commonwealth.
The inmate who was assaulted Monday remains hospitalized with numerous injuries. The prison counselor has been released from the hospital.