An electric fence to be installed around the wall of the Lewisburg Penitentiary in Pennsylvania will stun an inmate the first time he touches it and kill him the second time, says the Harrisburg Patriot-News. The level of electricity in the fence will automatically increase after contact, so a prisoner will be electrocuted if he touches it again, Warden Joseph V. Smith said. Now, guards in towers are authorized to shoot to kill if a prisoner goes over the wall around the maximum-security federal prison. The fence will eliminate the need to staff the eight guard towers.
Few have escaped during the 70 years the prison has operated. The last escape attempt occurred in 1982, but the inmate did not get over the wall. The lethal fence will ensure that Lewisburg Penitentiary operates as maximum-security for at least 15 more years. The prison has 514 workers, including 239 corrections officers. The number of inmates has increased in the last year from 1,719 to 2,039, and it is expected to reach 2,300.