Pa. Corrections Officers calling for statewide prison lockdown amid worsening pandemic


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association (PSCOA) called on the Wolf administration Tuesday, to lock down all state prisons and suspend inmate transfers amid the current COVID-19 surge.

“Our system is on the verge of being overcome,” said PSCOA Western Region Vice President John Eckenrode. “Mass testing is being done at some state prisons, but there’s concern in the DOC over the accuracy of the tests. Right now, lockdowns and pausing transfers are the best way to help protect corrections officers, staff, and inmates.”

The PSCOA says their members are overworked and exhausted from the massive amounts of overtime. Overtime that was put in place due to COVID-19 illness within their ranks.

“Our members need relief,” Eckenrode said. “It makes little sense to continue to allow for open and free movement within our prisons as the virus continues to spread. It makes even less sense to allow for potentially sick inmates to be transferred to different prisons. We believe this is contributing to the increased COVID-19 illnesses among our members. The PSCOA is ready to work with the DOC and administration officials on a safety plan that will save lives.”

These calls for action come after other Pennsylvania residents voiced their opinion to release medically vulnerable inmates altogether.


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