HARRISBURG – State corrections employees would be given greater legal protection during investigations as part of legislation approved by the Senate today, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks).

Senate Bill 404, also known as the Corrections Officers Bill of Rights, would establish new 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.

Argall, whose district includes State Correctional Institutions Mahanoy and Frackville, said it is important that officers have the same rights as the prisoners they guard.

“Unfounded allegations against corrections officers can keep them out of work for months on end as the review process unfolds,” Argall said. “Any corrections officer who is found guilty of a crime should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but we must take great care to ensure any false or frivolous accusations offered by inmates does not impact the lives of honest, hardworking officers.”

The legislation was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.