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Citing violent assaults, DePasquale calls for additional correctional officers

Written by Rachel McDevitt/Radio Pennsylvania | Oct 21, 2016 3:00 AM
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FILE PHOTO: A solitary corrections officer looks out from a tower at one corner of the state prison in Camp Hill. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Harrisburg) -- The state Auditor General is recommending the commonwealth's Department of Corrections hire more officers and make administrative improvements to try to cut down on what he calls the "shocking" number of violent incidents within state prisons.

Between January 2015 and March 2016, there were more than 4,000 assaults and fights in Pennsylvania's 25 state correctional institutions.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says, when his office looked at reporting procedures in seven of the institutions, auditors found that violent incidents appeared to be recorded accurately, but they could not verify that all incidents were reported.

He says that's why he's recommending the DOC make improvements in four administrative areas.

"Such information is critical to ensure that inmates do not believe that violence can be committed without consequences, putting inmates and staff at risk for injury," he says.

As a result of the audit, the DOC says it plans to automate its misconduct system, and fill vacant positions in the department.

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