Prison boot sales halted af­ter guard killed

The Republican Herald - - STATE - BY Mark Scol­foro

HARRISBURG — A Penn­syl­va­nia prison of­fi­cial said Tues­day the sale of work boots at all prison com­mis­saries was halted be­cause an in­mate is ac­cused of killing a guard by knock­ing him to the floor and kick­ing him in the head with a boot.

The prison guards’ union wants to ban work boots in pris­ons out­right fol­low­ing the Feb. 15 beat­ing of Sgt. Mark Baser­man, who died of his in­juries Mon­day.

The Cor­rec­tions Depart­ment said it im­posed the sales ban af­ter em­ploy­ees at Som­er­set State Prison, where Baser­man was at­tacked, raised the safety is­sue of boots last week in a meet­ing with ad­min­is­tra­tors.

All prison sys­tem fa­cil­i­ties were no­ti­fied, in­clud­ing post­ings in in­mate hous­ing units, com­mis­sary win­dows and all in­mate com­mon ar­eas. The depart­ment has not taken away boots in­mates al­ready own.

“They’re try­ing to fig­ure out where to go from this point,” Cor­rec­tions spokes­woman Sue McNaughton said. “Cer­tainly the hard-soled shoes have been an is­sue.”

Safety is­sues re­gard­ing in­mates with boots have arisen in other states. A Cal­i­for­nia in­mate was sen­tenced to life last month for stomp­ing to death his cell­mate, shat­ter­ing his skull with work boots. A fed­eral ap­peals panel in 2012, writ­ing about an in­mate-on-in­mate as­sault in which one was badly hurt by a steel-toed boot, said they were mys­ti­fied why a fed­eral prison in Illi­nois re­quired in­mates to wear the boots, even in their cells.

New Jersey prison of­fi­cials said that for the past decade in­mates have been al­lowed to wear work boots only when they are work­ing out­side, in the kitchen or on a main­te­nance crew, and the boots must be taken off when they are not on the job.

McNaughton said a check with other state prison of­fi­cials in­di­cated some do not al­low boots, some limit them to work crews or in­mates liv­ing out­side re­stricted hous­ing, some do not al­low boots with metal toes and some per­mit them and have had no prob­lems.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.