Signs calling attention to severe understaffing at North Country Prisons

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RAYBROOK, NY (WCAX) – Workers at a federal prison in upstate New York facing a critical staffing shortage say they have found new ways to get the community’s attention and alert them to problems.

While driving down Route 86 in Ray Brook, New York, you may have noticed a new sign near the Federal Penitentiary. Staffing is described as “dangerously understaffed” and asks the community if they feel safe.

James Davis, who works for prisons and prison unions, said, “I’m trying to make people aware that we’re basically on the verge of being understaffed.

Davis says the shortfall will come down to payments.

“Now someone can get a job at Target and start for the same amount as they would start in our prison,” Davis said.

Darrell Pilon, chairman of the Local 3882 Union, says he struggles to retain new hires. He says product benefits are no longer the focus of young recruits.

“If they can make as much or more money in the private sector and not be exposed to the conditions we work in prisons with international and domestic terrorists, murderers and drug kingpins, I I don’t blame them,” said Piron.

They said the shortage was due to the dismissal of 60 executives in 2016 due to restructuring.

Inmates have also been reduced, but are increasing.

They currently have 71 guards for 914 prisoners.

Pilon said at least 120 guards should be deployed.

Because prison guards are understaffed, other staff members, such as Mr. Davis, who are electrical foremen, have been moved from their jobs to work as security guards, often “mandated to work two shifts.” I’m here.”

“So now it’s causing my work load to never finish, so everyone’s falling behind,” Davis said.

They also say the shortage is affecting inmates as staff move from jobs to security guards. say you have to wait for

Pilon said it requested maintenance pay to help the situation offering a temporary pay raise of 25% of security guard salaries until the warden reaches an adequate staffing level.

“I’m pretty sure we won’t be able to stay competitive until we can secure at least 25%,” said Pilon.

Federal prisons across the country are facing similar shortages, Piron said, and the rural nature of the area may be the reason it’s not seeing applicants, plus New York’s state prisons are offering more salaries. It says it offers

He says the community is safe, but said the Federal Prison Service won’t do anything unless contacted by staff, inmates, or the community.

“Unless staff start complaining or complaining that something is happening to inmates, they won’t do anything,” Piron said. “They’ll basically keep sweeping it under the rug.”

Staffing at New York State Penitentiary

So how many prison officers are there in New York state prisons? According to the state, the total number is 15,140.

The Department of Corrections said it was able to maintain a ratio of 1 security staff for every 1.8 inmates.

I have the Clinton and Essex county state prison personnel numbers.

Altona Jail in Clinton County has 153 police officers and 154 inmates.

The Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora has 751 workers and approximately 2,000 inmates.

Ray Brook’s Adirondack Correctional Facility has 158 police officers supervising 123 inmates.