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Resolutions & Amendments

31st International Convention - San Diego, CA (1994)

Training for Correctional Officers

Resolution No. 59
31st International Convention
June 27-July 1, 1994
San Diego, CA


            American prisons are one among the most hostile and potentially dangerous workplaces in America. The inmate population is more aware of its rights and more difficult to manage. It is a population, moreover, that is more alienated from society and violent, and less afraid of punishment. In state correctional systems alone, in 1992, inmates committed over 20,000 assaults, 10,000 of which were against staff; 1,700 were serious enough to be referred for prosecution; and


            The demands placed upon correctional officers never cease. They function in a constant state of readiness, alert to any change, however subtle, in a hostile environment, aware that trouble may erupt at any moment. They must perform their duties cognizant of the rights of inmates and exercise discretion not to violate these rights. When called upon to do so, they must administer force, yet exert it in a self-disciplined manner; and


            Correctional officers must receive proper training in order to function effectively in this kind of environment. Training should increase the correctional officer's understanding of policies and procedures, proficiency in job tasks, and accomplishment of the correctional agency's goals.


            That it is the policy of AFSCME and affiliated councils and locals that correctional officers receive both a comprehensive program of at least six weeks pre-service training and at least two weeks in-service training each year thereafter and that other correctional personnel receive the necessary basic training and yearly in-service training to perform their duties safely and effectively; and


            That AFSCME explore, with relevant departments and agencies of the federal government and other corrections practitioners ways to ensure that the skills and knowledge required of correctional officers in the future enable them to function successfully in the correctional environment. AFSCME and its affiliates will work with correctional agencies to implement training programs that incorporate these skills and knowledge.



Donald G. McKee, President and Delegate 
Dick Palmer, Secretary-Treasurer and Delegate 
AFSCME Council 61