Correctional officers, union members protest in downtown Alexandria

“We’re out here today to bring awareness that we need more staff in Pollock,” said Richmond, who is a correctional officer at the U.S. Penitentiary in Pollock.

He said the protest follows an assault on an officer about two months ago. “He was stabbed multiple times,” Richmond said.

Richmond said this officer wasn’t the first assault at Pollock, with three staff members “almost killed” in the last six months.

“We want the DOP (Department of Prisons) to hire more staff,” he said.

Richmond wants more staff and more protective equipment. The ratio at the prison is about 120 inmates to one officer in housing units, and each officer has a can of pepper spray.

“The recent assaults have all been in housing units,” Richmond said. “Their (the officers’) protection is very limited. ... We’re asking for Congress and the Senate to fund us at an adequate level to give us what we need.”

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