AFGE Local 1034
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  • SCR Legislative Coordinator Tommy Moore Interview with KALB
    Updated On: Feb 53, 2024

    POLLOCK, La. (KALB) - A Cenla federal prison is in need of more staffing, but one bill written by a U.S. senator from Louisiana and cosponsored by two U.S. senators looks to increase pay for correctional officers and help to fix the shortage.

    “The problem that we’re having is staffing,” said Thomas Moore, the South Central Legislative Coordinator for the Council of Prisons Local, when asked about issues hindering the Federal Corrections Complex – Pollock (FCC Pollock). “Everything else seems to be running fairly smoothly.”

    Like many federal prisons across the nation, FCC Pollock is finding trouble with staffing. On a national level, according to numbers from the Bureau of Prisons, federal prisons are 8,140 correctional officers short of being fully staffed.

    Over at FCC Pollock, the complex is 45 correctional officers short, according to Moore. He said if FCC Pollock’s staffing numbers go up, the hours of mandates would be cut back.

    “Augmentation would be, we wouldn’t have to use it anymore,” Moore said. “If we could get the staffing levels up, it’d be a safer environment for staff, for inmates and the general public.”

    That is why U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) created Bill S-3771, titled the “Pay Our Correctional Officers Fairly Act”. The bill, cosponsored by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (R-Connecticut) and Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Pennsylvania), was introduced on the Senate floor on Feb. 8. If passed, the measure would allow for competitive pay that better reflects the cost of living, commute times, alternative careers and the hard work and dedication of Bureau of Prisons employees, according to U.S. Senator Cassidy.

    “It would make us more attractive,” Moore said. “Years ago, [FCC] Pollock was the place to go work.”

    Moore said the complex offered retirement, decent benefits and good compensation. However, Moore said due to the current state of the economy and other factors, their pay is not where it should be.

    “I could go work 16-hour shifts three or four times a week at Pollock, or I could go work over here and work five days a week, eight hours a day and go home,” said Moore. “If we could get these things passed and come to [FCC] Pollock, I think it would be better.”

    S-3771 has been read twice in Congress and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

    Moore said FCC Pollock is a good place to work if you have the staff.

    “I’ve been in the Bureau of Prisons for 15 years now,” said Moore. “I was there when we didn’t have these problems, as far as mandates, augmentation, and we had the staff. You’ve got to have the staff to keep it safe and make it a good career.”

  • AFGE Local 1034

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