Corrections Unions Launch Media Campaign On Safety Concerns

May 4, 2011 – The union coalition representing nearly 5,000 state correctional employees has launched a media campaign as part of the continuing effort to shine a light on public safety concerns inside and out of Connecticut’s prisons.

AFSCME Locals 387, 391 and 1565 are starting their campaign with four highway bulletin boards, including two in Hartford and one in New Haven and Waterbury. The highway bulletin boards read as follows: “Connecticut Prisons Closing. 2,000 inmates released. Money Over Safety.” The unions also will air radio spots on WTIC next week.

The three AFSCME unions comprise Council 4’s NP-4 Correctional Bargaining Unit and represent front-line prison employees, including correctional officers, parole officers, counselors, maintenance, food service workers and more.

“We don’t think you can put a price on protecting the safety and well-being of our citizens, whether inside our prisons or out in the community. We’re concerned that closing prisons, releasing inmates and cutting back on staff and programs will make our communities less safe and our criminal justice system less effective,” said AFSCME Local 387 President Lisamarie Fontano.

The start of the NP-4 ad campaign coincided with National Correctional Employees Week, which ended May 7, 2011. AFSCME represents more than 85,000 corrections officers and workers nationwide.

“These men and women are doing an important job, often under dangerous conditions, in our criminal justice system. They safeguard the public from those who would do us harm,” said AFSCME National President Gerald McEntee. “Too often, those in government ignore the voice and experience of these workers, but our members refuse to be silent.”