As ACU members who work in prisons and jails across the country keeping the public safe – you watch our backs. This week, National Correctional Officers’ and Employees’ Week, we want to let you know how proud we are to call you our sisters and brothers. We honor you for the work you do.
We stand with you as some politicians cut staffing, threaten your wages and benefits, refuse to provide needed safety equipment and privatize prisons to benefit corporate backers who put them in office in the first place.
Nationwide, private prisons undermine public safety, pose a threat to the lives of inmates, and are bad for the economy and community safety. Private facilities put profits before safe streets by hiring at rates barely above minimum wage, skimping on employee training, and eliminating staff positions and equipment critical to preventing escapes and violence in the facilities.
Across this country, AFSCME is fighting to keep public safety where it belongs – in the hands of professional and highly trained, dedicated public corrections officers. In Texas we’re driving efforts to shut down the Dawson State Jail, where several preventable deaths have taken place. In Ohio, we’re calling for the shutdown of the Lake Erie Correctional Institution, where conditions have rapidly deteriorated since it was sold to a private company in 2011. And we’re calling attention to the failings of for-profit prisons across the country.
We will always honor the sacrifices you make on behalf of your communities by standing with you in the struggle to keep them safe.
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees