WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Government Employees’ Council of Prison Locals recently elected Eric Young as president during its convention in Hollywood, Fla. Young, a Gulf War Army veteran, previously served as president of AFGE Local 501 in Miami, Fla. for seven years and CPL southeast regional vice president for six years. CPL represents more than 30,000 bargaining unit employees in the United States and Puerto Rico and is made up of workers from virtually all levels of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
“Eric Young is a great labor activist and veteran and we are excited to work with him as we continue fighting to protect all BOP workers,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. “Federal correctional workers put their lives on the line each and every day and deserve the necessary protections to remain safe on the job.”
The union says serious inmate overcrowding and correctional worker understaffing plague the BOP system nationwide, and create hazardous conditions for federal correctional workers and the communities in which they work.
BOP correctional officers and other staff members inside federal prisons are unarmed, leaving them vulnerable to attacks by inmates with homemade weapons. For years, AFGE and CPL have fought not only for additional staffing and funding at BOP but also for protective equipment such as pepper spray. The need for additional resources can be seen with the countless violent outbreaks occurring at BOP facilities across the country. A correctional officer can be responsible for supervising as many as 150 inmates at once and is unarmed inside the facility. Low staffing levels and a more aggressive inmate population have led to a spike in violence – something AFGE says cannot continue.
For more information on the Council of Prison Locals, please visit www.cpl33.info.