Barletta Hails Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act Becoming Law

Mar 10, 2016
Press Release
Bill Named for Slain Corrections Officer Provides Pepper Spray to Corrections Workers

Click here or on image for video of Rep. Barletta’s remarks on the House floor in support of the bill on February 24, 2016.

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today hailed the signing of the Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act, now a new law that supplies oleoresin capsicum spray, commonly known as pepper spray, to federal prison officers or employees who may respond to emergency situations with inmates.  The legislation was named for Nanticoke native Eric Williams, an officer at the U.S. Prison at Canaan who was killed by an inmate in 2013. 

Officer Williams was unarmed when he was attacked, allegedly by convicted gang assassin Jessie Con-ui, a member of the violent New Mexican Mafia gang, who already was serving an 11-year sentence at the time.  Con-ui is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder of a U.S. corrections officer, and possessing contraband in prison.  Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. 

Barletta issued the following statement:

“It is good news indeed that federal corrections officers will now be able to respond when they are confronted with violent inmates who have very little to lose.  If Officer Williams had been equipped with pepper spray three years ago, he might have been able to defend himself against that cowardly, ambush-style attack.  And perhaps he’d be alive today.  This will give correctional officers that fighting chance that Officer Williams did not have.”