The Council of Prison Locals C-33 is the most organized Council within the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Organization representing more than 30,000 bargaining unit employees in the United States, including its US Territory of Puerto Rico.
Use the tools below to send a letter to your lawmaker on each of the following specific issues.
Three federal correctional officers have been murdered since 2008 just for doing their jobs. In two of those cases, their murderers were already serving life sentences for murder. Rather than face the death penalty for their grisly act, they got a second life sentence. Another life sentence for people already condemned to life in prison is not punishment. It is an insult to the grieving families of these fallen officers. By giving convicted murderers another life sentence, we are showing inmates across the country that they can, quite literally, get away with murder.
That's why we are supporting H.R. 72, the Thin Blue Line Act. Introduced by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and expected to be re-introduced by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) in the Senate, the bill would make killing a correctional worker, a firefighter or other first responder an aggravating factor in death penalty determinations. It restores the key deterrent for lifers looking to make a name for themselves by killing our brave officers.
If passed, this law could finally provide peace and justice for the families of our fallen officers and make our prisons safer for tens of thousands of dedicated correctional workers. We owe it to the Rivera, Williams and Albarati families to stand up and fight for its passage.
Officer Eric Williams was brutally murdered in 2013 by an inmate at U.S. Penitentiary Canaan. At the time he took Officer Williams' life, the inmate was already serving a life sentence for murder. Although a federal jury found the prisoner guilty of this brutal crime, the inmate received essentially no additional punishment because one juror out of twelve would not vote for a death penalty sentence.
Currently, prosecutors cannot impanel a second jury for sentencing if a jury in a federal death penalty case fails to reach a unanimous decision on a sentence. Instead, the judge must impose a sentence other than the death penalty. Eric's Law would require the court to order a new special sentencing hearing and impanel a new jury in these instances.
We are supporting Eric's law, which we’re waiting to be re-introduced in the 117th Congress, and which was introduced Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Representative Fred Keller (R-PA) in the last Congress, to finally bring justice to Officer Williams' family and to send a powerful message to inmates who might be thinking about trying to kill one of our brave officers.
Council 33 uses official time to stand up for workers who have been wrongfully terminated, disciplined, harassed, or intimidated because of bad management practices. Official time is also used to improve correctional worker safety.
Working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons will never be easy. But it shouldn’t be a death sentence. Help us protect those who protect America.
Thanks to your activism, the Lieutenant Osvaldo Albarati Correctional Officer Self-Protection Act was included in the criminal justice reform bill known as the First Step Act which was signed into law on December 21, 2018. As you know, federal correctional officers are extended the same enhanced ability to carry personal firearms as police and other law enforcement officers while off-duty. But federal correctional workers were unable to carry their personal firearms to and from work because the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) failed to provide secure gun lockers for correctional officers to safely store their firearms. This bill changes that and honors Lieutenant Albarati's memory. We are now working with prison management to ensure this law is implemented properly.
In March of 2016, President Obama signed the Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act into law, providing permanent funding to provide pepper spray and usage training to correctional workers across the country. This law would not have been possible without activists like you and lawmakers in the Senate and House passing the bill.
Learn the history behind the Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act.
Because of the hard work of safe prisons activists like you, correctional workers now have access to a fair retirement that they have earned.
In July of 2015, President Obama signed a bill to allow law enforcement workers who retire after December 31, 2015, to access their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), without paying a 10% penalty on withdrawals. The bipartisan Defending Public Safety Employees' Retirement Act exempts law enforcement officers from the 10% penalty on their TSP if they retire at 50.
AFGE and our law enforcement councils have worked tirelessly for decades to see this retirement penalty reformed. Workers like you are responsible for securing our communities. You deserve a fair retirement with no pointless penalties on your savings. Thank you for your continued hard work on behalf of your coworkers and communities.