Correctional Officers’ Union to Take Concerns to Congress

Members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), a union that represents approximately 28,000 correctional workers, will be traveling to Washington, D.C., in February to discuss a variety of issues with congressional representatives.Chief issues on the union’s agenda are federal funding and prison privatization.

In the Congressional budget, funding for the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is set to be cut by at least $100 million in 2008. Instead, the union wants an increased appropriation of $400 million because of safety concerns and a growing federal prison population.

The AFGE local chapters will also be supporting a House resolution that would eliminate the placing of federal inmates in privately-run correctional facilities.

Workers at the BOP correctional complex in Florence, Colo., are members of the union and have repeatably brought up concerns about low staffing levels at the Supermax prison there.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at