Prisons chief says effort to cut violence is showing promise

By The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s prisons chief says a pilot program to cut violence inside the system is showing remarkable promise, and officials are in the process of expanding those efforts.

Corrections Secretary John Wetzel told reporters Friday that attacks inside Forest State Prison are down about 40 percent after the administration took a new approach that centered on the consistent use of prison-wide lockdown when more serious incidents occur.

Wetzel says officials met with several hundred selected inmates before instituting a new policy regarding lockdowns.

They’re automatically and swiftly put in place following any incidents that involve multiple people, weapons or staff, or if anyone requires hospital treatment.

Wetzel is also reporting on new efforts to help prevent the 18,000 people released from state prisons each year from returning to the system.

By The Associated Press

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