Department of Corrections Orders Immediate Lock Down of All State Prisons

Department of Corrections Orders Immediate Lock Down of All State Prisons

Department of Corrections Orders Immediate Lock Down of All State Prisons

A press release issued by the Department of Corrections said all state correctional institutions were locked down because of reports of multiple staff members sickened by unknown substances over the past few weeks.

Two state-funded halfway houses in Berks County, ADAPPT in Reading and the Wernersville Community Corrections Center in South Heidelberg Township, were included in an immediate statewide lockdown of corrections facilities announced Wednesday afternoon by Corrections Secretary John Wetzel.

McNaughton said that means all visits are suspended for the length of the lockdown and all mail rooms are closed to non-legal mail at all facilities until further notice. The news came after 29 employees at 10 prisons required treatment in recent weeks from exposure to a yet-unidentified substance that's been described as a liquid synthetic drug. It was reported just today that 20 correction officers and inmates at Ross Correctional Institution (Ohio) experienced possible opioid overdose symptoms as well.

"The safety and security of our employees is my number one concern", Wetzel said.

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"We will do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of our staff", said Wetzel. Those affected were treated through the administration of naloxone, a drug used to combat overdoses caused by opioids such as heroin or fentanyl, Sellers said. Hospital staff indicated the patients affected exhibited signs similar to fentnyl exposure.

The release informs that the Pennsylvania prison system is not alone in its fight against illegal substances and employee/inmate sickness.

Paulina Dedaj is a writer/ reporter for Fox News. Last week the DOC introduced a multi-point plan including new training in the use of personal protective equipment, increasing inventory of protective gear, purchasing safety disposal units for unknown substances, training in-house emergency response teams for hazardous material response, expanding the use of body scanners, reviewing procedures for inmate mail processing, purchasing K9 Narcan auto injectors for use on drug-sniffing dogs, and expanding the K9 unit.

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