Teachers, plumbers, nurses forced to guard inmates at Mendota prison – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-05-25 04:15:37 –

Mendota, CA (KFSN)-Behind the prison wall of the Federal Correctional Facility in Mendota, staff say they are stretched thinly.

As with many facilities across the country, the shortage of prison officers imposes double obligations on other personnel.

Aaron McGrotin, President of FCI Mendota Union, is engaged in maintenance services.

He says 15 to 22 staff members are reassigned to work in prison officer posts per day.

“We have teachers, trade specialists, plumbers, general maintenance personnel … it’s the process they use across the country, and they’re overly dependent on it. , I haven’t made the prison so safe, “he says.

Almost One-third of the work of a federal prison officer It’s vacant in America.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons says that everyone working at the facility is a trained, sworn orthodontic worker. Employees are said to have to expect to perform law enforcement functions once they are hired.

“Keeping so many people away from normal work reduces the number of staff available for emergency response,” says McGlothin.

Currently, FCI Mendota has 961 prisoners and 261 staff.

And the shortage of employees can quickly become even more dire.

“That’s not enough. We need more staff because the influx of these prisoners from private prisons is continually opening up new housing units,” said McGlothin.

Last week, McGlothin and other employees picked up outside the prison, and Mendota Mayor Rolando Castro joined.

“Our taxes are on the facility and I want to make sure our employees are safe,” says Castro.

According to the union, prison jobs start at around $ 40,000 with detention incentives.

Mayor Castro says positions need to be more competitive.

FCI Mendota hopes to hold recruitment events on Wednesdays and Thursdays to provide peace of mind to current staff.

McGlothin says he looks forward to more funding from state and parliamentarians to add more prison jobs.

Action News has contacted prison officials who have not yet provided comments.

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