Federal prison woes

Our federal prisons are now understaffed and many are still overcrowded nationwide, so why has the BOP recently CUT 6,100 positions nationwide? These positions were arbitrarily selected without regard to how important they may be or how they may affect the level of safety within the facility. The “spin” they offer is that these cuts were to “vacant” positions, many supposedly for years.

Many if not all of these “vacant” positions were only vacant due to the mandatory hiring freeze imposed by the Attorney General that has been in effect across the BOP’s 120 institutions for the last 14 months and continues today. Lewisburg Penitentiary and FCC Allenwood are around 85% staffing.

In a recently leaked memo, the administration plans to cut the funding for federal prisons and eliminate roughly 14% of correctional worker positions nationwide in 2018. To make matters worse, the 2019 budget calls for even more cuts and less staff. Sadly, this decision comes at a time when the Bureau has relied on augmentation to meet staffing needs, instead of hiring new full-time correctional officers.

Armed with only a radio and pepper spray, this leaves fewer staff able to respond to emergencies in the prison, and fewer to prevent violence and assaults. This also means less staff to carry out programs that help with rehabilitation and re-entry. These cuts also result in one correctional worker at times supervising hundreds of dangerous felons – terrorists, gang members and murderers – with no backup officer in sight.

Many of our elected officials grandstand about securing our borders and wanting to make America safer – so why are they cutting the budget for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and putting correctional workers lives at risk at USP Lewisburg, FCC Allenwood and across America’s 120 Federal Institutions? Officers are not asking for a pay raise, they are not asking to pay less for health care, they are not asking for more vacation time or even better working conditions. They just want to go home safe each night to their families and to not live with the stress of what tomorrow may bring. E

We firmly believe that our government needs reform, there are areas that need more oversight and possible reductions or cuts but Federal Prisons are certainly not one of these. These are your friends and neighbors, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, they are wives, husbands, Veterans and most of all they are people like you, just trying to make a living, raise their kids, pay their bills and make it safely to retirement.

The last time the Bureau of Prisons executed arbitrary and far reaching cuts to Correctional Officer positions was in 2005. This ‘mission critical’ reduction in force resulted in the murders of both Officers Jose Rivera and Eric Williams. Can we ask Director Inch and Attorney General Sessions, exactly how much is a Correctional Officers’ life worth?

Andrew E. Kline Shane Fausey Brian Hart Mike Moran

President, Local 148 President, Local 4047 President, Local 307 President Local 3003

USP Lewisburg FCI Allenwood USP Allenwood USP Canaan

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