Correctional officers on Dec. 12 held a picket outside the Bureau of Prisons Western Regional Office in Stockton, Calif., protesting the BOP for repeatedly promoting Deputy Western Regional Director Thomas Ray Hinkle despite a long history of harassing staff and abusing inmates.
The protest came after The Associated Press published an investigation detailing how the BOP has stood by Hinkle and repeatedly promoted him despite his records of beating Black inmates and other misconduct.
Holding signs that say, “Remove Regional Director Melissa Rios, Replace toxic failed federal prison leadership, Restore safe and secure federal prisons” and “Remove Deputy Regional Director Ray Hinkle, Replace toxic failed federal prison leadership, Restore safe and secure federal prisons,” the officers called on BOP to fire Hinkle as well as his boss, Rios.
“We’re out here today to spread the awareness of the corruption and the bad intentions by the upper echelon within the Bureau of Prisons,” AFGE 1237 Local President Aaron McGlothin representing workers at Federal Correctional Institution Mendota, Calif., told reporters at the picket. “We have numerous line staff that were sent out and put on administrative leave for allegations of things, but we have members of management like the deputy regional director, Mr. Ray Hinkle, who has admitted to violating inmates’ civil rights, beating inmates that were restrained, and the agency was sued and tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ dollars was paid out to these inmates while this individual was continuously promoted.”
“The regional directors are the same. The people in central office are the same. How do we expect change when the people who are in office that make this environment toxic? It doesn’t make any sense,” said AFGE 3584 Local President Edward Canales representing workers at Federal Correctional Institution Dublin, Calif.