In efforts to improve safety in Pennsylvania’s correctional facilities, Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar (R-Somerset/Bedford) today announced that the House of Representatives has passed two of his bills, House Bill 256
and House Bill 257
. These bills are part of a package of bills, authored by Metzgar, which would address seven key areas to improve safety for Department of Corrections staff and the public, as well as toughen penalties on prisoners who commit violent offenses against facility employees.
House Bill 256 would lower the threshold that must be met to charge an inmate with a felony for committing assault on a corrections facility employee.
House Bill 257 would amend the Crimes Code to provide that any prisoner who commits an offense while incarcerated would serve time consecutive to their current sentence, thereby extending their incarceration to reflect their additional infraction.
“The current language in the Crimes Code does not sufficiently address the intent of a prisoner who would commit these violent offenses against detention and correctional facility employees. Whether the assault results in ‘serious bodily injury’ or minor cuts and bruises, we have to consider that the intent to harm is present in both cases,” said Metzgar. “If a prisoner commits these violent offenses while incarcerated, they are showing that they are still a danger to society and have not been rehabilitated. The resulting sentencing needs to reflect that observation.”
House Bill 256 was passed by a vote of 146-51, and House Bill 257 was passed by a vote of 144-53. Both bills are now before the Senate for consideration.
Representative Carl Walker Metzgar
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Kevin DiGuiseppe
717.260.6419 (office), 610.937.4679 (cell)