Snyder: Bill to give corrections officers more of a voice moves forward

HARRISBURG, Jan. 13 – State Rep. Pam Snyder today announced the unanimous passage of a measure designed to give corrections officers more of a role in better protecting the community at large.

Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, said H.B. 44 would provide corrections officers the opportunity to submit written testimony or testify in person at parole hearings.

“Our corrections officers have a dangerous but vital job to do, and I’m extremely pleased House Bill 44 is moving forward,” Snyder said. “No one better understands the behavior of inmates than corrections officers who are patrolling the halls of the facility each day, and their voice must be heard when parole hearings are taking place, as they know firsthand if an inmate should be considered for parole.”

Snyder, whose district includes SCI-Fayette and SCI-Greene, has been a strong advocate for state corrections officers. In 2016, she helped enact legislation to allow corrections officers to carry pepper spray while on duty. In 2018, Snyder also called for a thorough review of state prison system employee safety and security after more than two dozen employees across Pennsylvania were sickened by a substance that was later identified as synthetic marijuana.

The bill now heads to state Senate for further consideration.