No child should have to fear for their parents' lives when they go to work every morning.
And yet yesterday at the Park & Ride in Bruceton Mills, WV, a young girl held a sign proclaiming "I don't want my mommy to be next," joining her mother and her fellow AFGE members to protest the dangerous levels of understaffing at FCC Hazelton in Hazelton, WV.
Correctional workers stood united alongside Interstate 68 near Bruceton Mills, WV to raise awareness and demand action on this critical safety issue. FCC Hazelton is currently understaffed beyond what the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) considers to be safe, forcing dozens of correctional officers there to work overtime.
AFGE Local 420 Vice President Richard Heldreth says the understaffing is unacceptable, and puts the correctional workers at the facility at risk.
"Our officers deserve better," he said. "I refuse to remain silent and allow another officer to be murdered at my prison, on my watch."
Understaffing is a nationwide problem affecting our BOP, forcing correctional workers to supervise as many as 150 inmates alone. Prison populations continue to rise, leaving the system overcrowded by 37% - putting our correctional workers' lives in danger.
To learn more about this picket, and what AFGE is doing to make our prisons safer, visit the Safe Prisons Project page on the AFGE website.