American Federations of Government Employees Local 1405 Opposes Job Cuts

There's a growing concern in Lee County about staff reductions at the federal prison located in southwest Virginia. These job cuts are because of a nationwide reduction by the Bureau of Prisons.
According to the union representing prison employees, the American Federations of Government Employees Local 1405, concerning the federal prison USP Lee, located in Lee County currently has 427 authorized staff postitions but with the BOP cuts underway they could eventually eliminate sixty -two of those postitions.
Brian Shoemaker, Union President stated, "It's caused a burden on all departments, not just correctional services because the agency relies on what they call augmentation to back fill those crucial correctional sevices posts and they're pulling teachers, dentists, doctors, nurses."
The Bureau of Prisons stated that several thousand positions natiowide were eliminated by the Department of Justice and Congress to 'rightsize' staffing levels. Further stating that the reduction will not hamper it's ability to maintain safety.
Shoemaker disagrees, stating "The escape attempt we had back in 2014 was directly related to cost saving initiatives. They closed all the perimeter towers down. It doesn't take the inmates long to figure out. They've got 24 hours a day to figure out our flaws."
County leaders including Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons are concerned. Parsons stated, "There's extreme danger if they get out they're going to hurt somebody. Those people in that maximum facility, they're the worst of the worst."
Lee County Supervisor D.D. Leonard stated, "our county is not in great financial shape. Anytime there is a job loss, even one job, it impacts. It's a huge impact. That's our main focus, is to keep as many employees as we can there."

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