Wyoming Prison Guards Angry About Budget Cuts
Wyoming Department of Corrections Officers are deeply concerned by impending cuts in their budget. In response, Sam A. Cabral, President of the International Union of Police Associations that represents Wyoming Officers, sent a harshly worded letter to Governor Matt Mead accusing him of failing to get his priorities straight. In particular, Cabral strenuously objected to limiting overtime pay and the failure to replace retiring officers while simultaneously giving raises to his own staff.
Cabral said, “It is shameful that you reward those close to you while endangering the very men and women who protect the citizens of Wyoming by containing a criminal element that if not separated from decent citizens, would continue to prey upon them.”
Cabral further explained the negative impact the proposed cuts to WDOC would have. According to Cabral, the cuts will not only financially damage the Corrections Officers and their families, but will, in his view, actually place the officers in further danger.
Cabral said, “The plan to leave positions vacant will result in understaffed prisons. Poor staffing will place an unfair burden on those officers still working and the lack of adequate support in critical situations will place them in physical danger from violent inmates.”
Cabral criticized the Governor’s call to delay construction of housing units by using temporary beds in existing facilities to house inmates. Again he is of the opinion that it will contribute to overcrowding of facilities that are already understaffed, therefore, he says, further increasing the danger to the current staff.
Cabral argued that proposed reductions to WDOC provided offender programs will reduce offender success rates which will in turn result in increased recidivism on their release which in turn places the public at large in danger.
Cabral concluded with a dig at the reported salary increases to the Governor's staff, saying, “I urge you to clarify your priorities. We doubt that the public at large would agree to continue to raise the salaries of those working in the Governor’s Office while ignoring the needs of these critical employees.”
There has been no public response from the Governor yet.