Senate approves Argall bill establishing state ‘Corrections Officers Bill of Rights’

HARRISBURG – The Senate gave its stamp of approval on a bill that would establish a Corrections Officers Bill of Rights, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator David G. Argall (R-29).

Senate Bill 476 was approved Wednesday by the Senate and would provide standards to protect the rights of state correctional officers during certain investigations by the Department of Corrections. The measure includes provisions guaranteeing prompt notification and investigation of complaints.

“As the Senator for two state correctional facilities, I believe corrections officers should have the same rights as everyone else – that you are innocent until proven guilty,” Argall said. “Unfortunately, some events unfolded at a state prison in western Pennsylvania where several guards were suspended without pay and unable to ask questions about their suspension for almost a year.”

Argall argues that public servants deserve the same due process as the prisoners they oversee. By comparison, state police officers are reassigned a desk job with pay while under investigation.

“It’s unfair to be the line of defense between prisoners and the public, while having fewer rights than the prisoner. These officers protect us, so it’s time we protect their rights,” Argall said.

Senate Bill 476 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration. 

Back to Top