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Resolutions & Amendments

39th International Convention - Boston, MA (2010)

Preserving Public Safety In Tough Fiscal Times

Resolution No. 6
39th International Convention
Boston Covention & Exhibition Center
June 28 - July 2, 2010
Boston, MA


States are taking various approaches to close their huge budget gaps, including delaying construction or expansion of correctional facilities; closing wings or entire facilities; cutting staff or not filling vacant positions; cutting prison programs; and releasing inmates before their sentences are served; and

Budget cuts put states at increasing risk of losing valuable resources and personnel. States have less money to pay existing officers, train new officers, update deteriorating facilities and/or provide inmates with adequate care. All of this harms correctional services and threatens public safety; and

Releasing inmates early can lead to increased crime and recidivism if not thought out correctly. Sentencing reform can only be effective if it is a result of sound correctional judgment and not driven solely by cost considerations; and

The closure of correctional and juvenile facilities for budget reasons causes overcrowding and unsafe conditions; and

Correctional employees can advocate most effectively for proper staffing and training and safe working conditions through a union, yet about 300,000 correctional employees do not have the right to organize a union and bargain collectively; and

Profit-driven corporations, in pursuit of government funds, are exploiting fiscal problems and continue to pursue private contracts with federal, state and local governments to run their prison facilities. The use of private corporations to house, monitor or provide services for inmates has jeopardized the safety of those inside the facility as well as residents of neighboring communities.

That the reduction in correctional staffing, poorly thought out sentencing reform, privatization of inmate services, closure of correctional and juvenile facilities to solve budget problems and the risky experiment of privatizing prisons must end; and

That the issues of public safety, liability and accountability be held paramount in the operation of correctional facilities. AFSCME will continue to seek, through bargaining and legislation, safe staffing policies and standards.

Robert McLinn, President and Delegate
Jeff Johnson, Secretary
AFSCME Council 24