Changes Since the Riot
While the SCI Camp Hill riot was a tragedy in which many people were injured, a number of good things actually came out of it:
-Elimination of the treatment vs. security struggle by changing to a facility management and centralized services structure.
-Creation of regional deputy secretary positions at the Central Office level which allowed for better oversight of and communication with facilities.
-Improved inter-institution and departmental communications through the creation of a facility climate tool.
-Improved readiness of staff through enhanced special teams and mandatory training for those teams (CERT, HRT, HNT, CRST, CISM, FERT)
-Improved emergency preparedness through training and the development of professional standards, policies and procedures.
-Change in the design of prison facilities, including housing units to a hardened concrete modular design. This also included sectioning off of prison interior areas, better lighting and increased camera usage.
-The launching of an unprecedented prison construction project -- by 1997, the DOC added 10,000 cells to the system.
-DOC leadership taking a more proactive approach in shaping policies that impact the department.
To learn more about the changes as a result of the riot, read/listen to the oral histories of former DOC Secretary Jeffrey A. Beard, Ph.D. and former Director of Planning, Research & Statistics Lee Ann Labecki.
Also helpful in explaining the changes made to SCI Camp Hill and the DOC since the riot, view this issue of "Correctional Newsfront."