MACo Advocates for Bill to Protect Correctional Officers From Frivolous Lawsuits

On March 23, 2016 MACo submitted testimony in support of HB 359, Criminal Procedure – Charges Against Correctional Officer – Review by State’s Attorney, to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

This bill would protect correctional officers from harassment by frivolous criminal charges.

From the MACo testimony,

Under HB 359, charges against a correctional officer for offenses alleged to have been committed during the course of duty must first be reviewed and determined reasonable and appropriate by a state’s attorney before they can be filed against the officer. This protection is currently afforded to law enforcement officers, emergency services personnel, and educators.

The bill adds correctional officers to the protected class whose duties make them targets for harassment and frivolous lawsuits.

Correctional officers are charged with the care, custody, control, and supervision of inmates, as well as individuals on parole and probation; the nature of their work often puts them at odds with the individuals under their guard. The correctional officers become targets for lawsuits arising from their daily duties.

The bill passed the House (138-0) on March 11, 2016.

For more on 2016 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.