[r20] Rep. Dermody's Bill to Prison Safety Passes Out of Committee Unanimously (2/20/2009)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Start Date: 2/20/2009 All Day
End Date: 2/20/2009
(STATEHOUSE) Feb. 20, 2009 - A bill that would establish the creation of two correctional police officers in each state correctional facility, passed unanimously out of the Judiciary Committee by a 7-0 vote.

Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) is the bill's author.

Currently, general correctional officers don't have the power to arrest or detain an individual who has violated a correctional facility's regulations. Under House Bill 1132, two appointed correctional police officers will be given the power to detain or arrest individuals to keep order in a correctional facility.  

"Ensuring that prisons have the tools to keep order is a must," said Rep. Dermody. "House Bill 1132 not only creates correctional police officers to further protect prisons, it assists law enforcement officers in their daily work of protecting the safety of Hoosiers."

Under House Bill 1132, those appointed have correctional police officer's police powers when:

  • An offense is committed on the property of the department of correction.
  • An offense involves an offender who is committed to the department.
  • An offense is committed in the presence of an officer.
  • Assisting another law enforcement officer who has requested the assistance of the correctional police officer.

The bill requires a correctional police officer to complete a pre-basic training course approved by the law enforcement training board, and any other training course established by the department of correction in conjunction with the law enforcement training board. Training includes classroom and skills training in the proper application of:

  • Hand-to-hand defensive tactics.
  • The use of firearms.
  • And other methods of overcoming unlawful resistance, or countering other action that threatens the safety of the public or a law enforcement officer.

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Rep. Dermody sits on the House Ways and Means and Small Business and Economic Development committees. Rep. Dermody can be reached at h20@IN.gov or by phone at 1-800-382-9841.