The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 12, 2013

Prison tragedy

Daily Item

---- — Responding to Tom Marino's recent statements regarding the death of a staff member at USP Caanan.

There is no need for Mr. Marino to get involved in the investigation into this tragedy. Bureau of Prison (BOP) staff are very good at what they do every day. Within minutes, additional BOP staff were probably en route to the institution to determine what happened and the agency will conduct a complete after action review to determine if and what went wrong and put in place procedures and policy to try to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.

BOP staff across the nation mourn our latest loss, but continue to be the best in the field of corrections.

As far as his statement he is listening to BOP staff, he has supported a hiring freeze, budget cuts and most recently with the sequester, which will further hinder the BOP's mission by requiring staff furloughs. He stated, "as a former U.S. District Attorney he's all too familiar with federal prisons and the dangers inside them and he fears for corrections officers. Instead of one guard in charge of 130 dangerous inmates, there should be a couple dozen."

Anyone who is "familiar" with federal prisons and their dangers would know this is not fiscally possible or sound correctional management. The Bureau of Prisons staff just want adequate staffing and resources to do their jobs Mr. Marino. Scoring cheap political shots at the Obama administration, the Department of Justice and your former political opponent do no service to your constituents. There is no distortion of facts regarding Mr. Marino's voting record, which has been against all federal workers.

Cheryl L. Walker, retired BOP