We need to re­think whom we in­car­cer­ate

USA TODAY International Edition - - NEWS -

FACE­BOOK USA TO­DAY OPIN­ION

Hun­dreds of sec­re­taries, teach­ers, coun­selors, cooks and med­i­cal staffers were tapped last year to fill guard posts across the Bu­reau of Pris­ons be­cause of of­fi­cer short­ages and over­time lim­its, ac­cord­ing to prison records re­viewed by USA TO­DAY.

Just an­other day in the land of Make Amer­ica Great Again.

The U.S. is a na­tion that crim­i­nal­izes al­most ev­ery­thing, yet re­fuses to fund our le­gal sys­tem, or the so­cial and ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices that could pre­vent peo­ple from fall­ing into crim­i­nal be­hav­ior.

Harold Heath

If you have been trained at a fed­eral law en­force­ment train­ing cen­ter as a cor­rec­tional of­fi­cer, then you can be put in that po­si­tion, no mat­ter what your spe­cialty is. Mar­shal Ma­goo

The story says staffers were tapped last year to fill guard posts. Tell us again why public ser­vice em­ploy­ees don’t need unions? Martin Braspen­nix

Call­ing em­ploy­ees of the Fe­beral Bu­reau of Pris­ons civil­ians is in­cor­rect. All em­ploy­ees in a fed­eral prison are law en­force­ment of­fi­cers, and have to meet the same qual­i­fi­ca­tions and train­ing.

Doug Wiser

Hav­ing worked at a prison, I am not sur­prised. The of­fi­cers are in­ad­e­quately com­pen­sated for the level of risk and stress they are ex­pected to deal with ev­ery day.

Of­fi­cers burn out on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, in part, due to the ex­ces­sive amounts of over­time re­quired and 12-hour work days. There is not enough time off work to fully de­com­press/re­cover from the psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal stress. Ei­ther the gov­ern­ment needs to stop putting oth­er­wise non-vi­o­lent of­fend­ers in jail, or it needs to of­fer enough pay to at­tract suf­fi­cient staffing to elim­i­nate over­time needs. James Chil­dress

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