Contact Information 

District Offices

Somerset Office
301 Georgian Place

Somerset, PA 15501
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Phone: (814) 443-4230
Fax: (814) 443-3866

Windber Office
1605 Graham Avenue
Windber, PA 15963
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Tuesday - Thursday - Friday
Closed on Wednesday 
Phone: (814) 467-4011

Hyndman Office
158 Washington St.
Hyndman, PA. 15545
Open on Wednesdays only from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
(814) 842-3362
TOLL-FREE: (866) 779-1477
Fax: (814) 842-3367
Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., or by appointment
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Capitol Office
Room 111 Ryan Office Building
PO Box 202069
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2069
(717) 783-8756
Fax: (717) 782-2911

Metzgar Unveils Comprehensive Prison Reform Package
6/6/2018

HARRISBURG – In the wake of the rash of recent assaults and the murder of Sgt. Mark Baserman at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar (R-Bedford/Somerset) plans to introduce a seven-bill package to increase safety for prison staff and the public.

“It is clear the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ policies have failed to protect the staff and officers that protect us from the state’s most dangerous criminals,” Metzgar said. “It is time to stop coddling these criminals who are now prisoners, and this package of reform bills seeks to make our prisons safe for staff and communities.”

Metzgar’s bills address seven key areas to improve safety for Department of Corrections (DOC) staff and the general public. The bills also provide tougher penalties on inmates who assault prison staff.

The bills would:

• Redefine assault on a prison staff member to reflect there is a lower threshold for an assault to occur when committed by an inmate on staff.
• Eliminate parole eligibility for inmates convicted of staff assault.
• Place inmates who assault staff on the restricted release list, confining them to the restricted housing unit (RHU). Additionally, they cannot be released without a regional deputy secretary’s approval. 
• Impose a mandatory five-year sentence for those convicted of staff assault, served consecutive to a prior sentence, and a $5,000 fine against the inmate’s commissary account.
• Prohibit inmate access to boots, as this was the weapon used to kill Sgt. Baserman. Currently, the DOC still allows inmates to possess state-issued boots.
• Mandate two guards per guard tower armed with autoloading rifles, with a minimum of 500 rounds per rifle pre-loaded in magazines.
• Restrict commissary eligibility after a staff assault without a regional deputy secretary’s approval.

“Currently, most facilities do not allow access to rifles due to a failure of the DOC to train corrections officers. This is unacceptable and a threat not only to staff safety but also public safety,” Metzgar said.

 
 

Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar (R-Bedford/Somerset) talks with SCI-Somerset officials about his comprehensive prison reform package aimed at improving prison staff safety, as well as public safety. Pictured with Metzgar are corrections officer Roger Snuffer, PA State Corrections Officers Association union representative Robert Grajeda, corrections officer Jeff Keafer and corrections officer Roy Oswalt. 

Representative Carl Walker Metzgar
69th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

 

 

 

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