Federal funds will be coming to help hire and retain correctional officers at federal prisons.
Outside his office on Wyoming Avenue in Scranton, Rep. Matt Cartwright announced $180 million for the Federal Bureau of Prisons to increase recruitment and hiring efforts of correctional officers. Staff shortages have been a major issue for a decade, including at USP Canaan near Waymart in Wayne County.
"This is something that Democrats and Republicans came together to do. Once we blew the lid off of what was happening in our federal prison system, more correctional officers, safer prisons for everybody," Rep. Cartwright said.
Dave Demas is the head of AFGE Local 3003, the union representing correctional officers at USP Canaan. He says they are extremely short on officers at the prison, and it poses many problems.
"It's very dangerous because you're making staff members work mandatory overtime. You're making them do jobs that they're not paid for," Demas said.