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Local lawmaker joins call for adequate staffing at FCI Danbury

Bethel state Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan is calling on Congress to push the Bureau of Prisons to increase staffing at Danbury Federal Correctional Institution.  He says FCI Danbury is short about 80 officers and has additional non-officer vacancies, which has resulted in officers working vast amounts of forced overtime and  non-officer employees-- including medical staff, teachers, counselors, and cooks --being assigned to guard inmates. 

Allie-Brennan says staffing cuts and a hiring freeze implemented by previous administrations have reduced the maximum number of employees the Bureau of Prisons can hire to roughly 75% of the "mission critical" staffing level the agency has said is necessary to keep officers and inmates safe. 

Members of Connecticut's Congressional delegation have written to the Bureau of Prisons urging the agency to address short staffing.  Congresswoman Jahana Hayes and the two U.S. Senators say they are concerned that the large number of vacancies has led to many issues at FCI Danbury.  They  acknowledged that the pandemic exacerbated the staffing shortfalls, but say the safety and security of staff and inmates must be prioritized at all times. 

The delegation says ongoing staffing issues have led to low morale, fatigue and exhaustion among staff, which exacerbates the potential for incidents or injuries to staff and inmates.