Congressman Ryan calls for action at federal prisons after Epste - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Congressman Ryan calls for action at federal prisons after Epstein's death

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AP Photo/Nati Harnik AP Photo/Nati Harnik

After financier Jeffrey Epstein's apparent suicide, Valley Congressman Tim Ryan is calling for more staffing at federal prisons. 

The Congressman repeated his call for adequate staffing levels at the Bureau of Prisons on Monday. He says the incident brings renewed attention to the issue of understaffed facilities, overworked correctional officers and unsafe conditions for inmates and correctional officers alike. 

"Critically understaffed prisons and overworked correctional officers are an epidemic in our federal prison system. Just as an overcrowded prison is a dangerous prison, so is an understaffed one. Correctional officers at BOP are not only responsible for ensuring the administration of justice, but also the personal safety and security of staff, inmates, and the public," Ryan said.  

He continued saying that these workers put their lives on the line to respond to issues related to gangs, violence, mental illness, sexual assault, and drugs. But he says that staffing cuts, high leadership turnover and a "lack of support from the Trump Administration," have pushed correctional officers and the federal prison system to a breaking point. 

"Sixteen-hour workdays and extreme overtime shifts undermine preparedness, security, and overall well-being. It is a disservice to correctional officers and victims of crime seeking justice to allow chronic under-staffing and a blatant disregard for safety to persist any longer," Ryan said. 

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