The announcement came just hours after 28 guards, inmates and nurses at Ross Correctional Initiation in Ohio also were affected by “substance exposure.” In addition to the lockdown, all DOC mailrooms will be closed to nonlegal mail until further notice. The unidentified substance was described as a liquid synthetic drug. Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association President Jason Bloom heard from officials that the substances could be carfentanil or K2. “The safety and security of our employees is my number one concern. Our state prisons, especially those in the western part of the state, have experienced recent incidents in which employees have been sickened and we need to get to the bottom of this issue now,” Secretary John Wetzel from Department of Corrections said.
Department of Corrections
During the lockdown, all prison mail rooms are closed to non-legal mail, all visits are suspended, all employees will be required to wear protective equipment including gloves and all employees will undergo new training. Gov. Tom Wolf called Wednesday’s decision a necessary step. Updated news say State police identified one of the “unknown substances” sickening prison employees as a synthetic cannabinoid, a DOC spokesperson said.