Rally Against Prison Overcrowding - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Rally Against Prison Overcrowding

© MGN Online © MGN Online
© People on the steps of the courthouse rallying. © People on the steps of the courthouse rallying.

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Union members representing the correctional workers at the Federal Correctional Complex in Pollock are holding an information picket and rally Friday to address unsafe working conditions in facilities nationwide.

The sidewalk outside the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Alexandria was crowded today with picketing prison guards. It's the sound of prison guards fed up with unsafe working conditions. 

 

"It was bad before," says Richard Logan, who has worked as a prison guard in Pollock for 13 years. "Now the game seems to be elevated. The inmates are coming, they're getting more dangerous. More violent."

Union members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1034 held and informational picket and rally Friday in front of U.S. Federal Courthouse in downtown Alexandria. 

They represent the correctional officers who work in the Federal Corrections Complex (FCC) in Pollock. And they say, three attacks on guards by inmates this year alone have them calling on the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for a change - specifically, a "buddy system" so that no officer is caught without backup.

"They're cowards in nature," Logan says. "They wait for you to turn your back, they wait for you to be alone. And that's what they're waiting for. If you're never alone, then that would stop a lot of assaults in and of itself." 

Overcrowding and understaffing in federal prisons isn't just a problem in Central Louisiana, but the numbers from Pollock are extreme. The BOP reports that the penitentiary was built to house 960 inmates - and currently, there are 1,490 inmates living within its gates. 

While more staff is a priority, the AFGE is also asking for new and improved stab-proof vests, and a can of pepper spray for every staff member.  

"Pepper spray has been proven at Pollock to stop a staff member from being killed," says Local 1034 President Brian Richmond.

Union reps say they are in talks with FCC Pollock and the federal BOP. The guards say, talking is a start, but they won't give up the fight until they feel safe once again.

"We don't want to wait for an officer to die before we get help," says Richard Logan. "We're asking for it now."

In a statement, FCC Pollock says the BOP prides itself on productive relations with bargaining units. They say system-wide, they're operating at 36 percent above rated capacity, while staffing levels are at 90 percent. 

The statement also says the safety and security of the staff continues to be the highest priority at the BOP.

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Search warrant leads to two arrests in Grant Parish

    Search warrant leads to two arrests in Grant Parish

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:11:49 GMT
    GRANT PARISH, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -The Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted a search warrant on July 23, 2014 on Charlie Coleman Road north of Pollock which resulted in the arrest of two people.More >>
    GRANT PARISH, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -The Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted a search warrant on July 23, 2014 on Charlie Coleman Road north of Pollock which resulted in the arrest of two people.More >>
  • Teen gets 232 "teeth" removed in Mumbai

    Teen gets 232 "teeth" removed in Mumbai

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:51 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:51:28 GMT
    (CNN) -- A teenager in India, who had more than 200 "teeth" growing in his mouth due to a benign dental tumor, has had them removed.More >>
    (CNN) -- A teenager in India, who had more than 200 "teeth" growing in his mouth due to a benign dental tumor, has had them removed.More >>
  • Unrestrained Pineville man killed in crash

    Unrestrained Pineville man killed in crash

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:04 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:04:53 GMT
    PINEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) – Early this morning, a single vehicle crash killed a man from Pineville, LA that was not wearing a seatbelt.Troopers responded to the crash around 1:12 a.m., which occurred on LA Hwy 1 north of the Poland community. More >>
    PINEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) – Early this morning, a single vehicle crash killed a man from Pineville, LA that was not wearing a seatbelt.Troopers responded to the crash around 1:12 a.m., which occurred on LA Hwy 1 north of the Poland community. More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.