Between May 31 and September 1, more than 50 staff members and 33 inmates reported being sickened and were taken to outside hospitals. Toxicology results confirmed the presence of synthetic cannabinoid in multiple instances of staff exposure. Lab tests confirmed inmate overdoses linked to synthetic cannabinoids and other illegal substances.
Gov. Wolf and DOC officials announced the following important changes to DOC processes:
- Immediate elimination of mail processing at facilities using a third-party vendor that will process all non-legal inmate mail.
- Improved safety precautions used when opening legal mail in front of inmates.
- Increased staffing in all visiting rooms.
- Temporary modifications to visiting rooms involving vending machines and inmate photos.
- Stricter visiting suspensions for visitors and inmates caught introducing
- contraband via visiting rooms, including indefinite or even lifetime bans for visitors.
- A bolstered library system and a centralized ordering/purchasing of books for inmates.
- Expansion of drone detection software and capabilities.
- Enhanced inmate commitment/reception protocol.
- Expanded use of body scanners.
- Additional and improved Ion Scanners.
- Implementation of a drug hotline where individuals can report information about drugs inside state facilities.