McKinley Receives Award for Advocacy for Federal Corrections Officers

McKinley Honored During Annual Legislative Conference for Work on Federal Prison Issues

Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1) received the Council of Prison Locals Appreciation Award in recognition of his work on federal prison guard issues. McKinley has met with corrections officers on numerous occasions to focus on their priorities. He took their requests back to Congress and passed pepper spray legislation, introduced a prison guard gun locker bill that was approved by the Judiciary Committee, and is leading the charge to protect the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) from further staffing cuts.

Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1) received the Council of Prison Locals Appreciation Award in recognition of his work on federal prison guard issues. McKinley has met with corrections officers on numerous occasions to focus on their priorities. He took their requests back to Congress and passed pepper spray legislation, introduced a prison guard gun locker bill that was approved by the Judiciary Committee, and is leading the charge to protect the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) from further staffing cuts.

“Our prison guards have never failed us when we’ve called them to duty. They risk their lives every day they enter these dangerous prisons to protect our communities from hardened criminals. They’ve stood for us against evil, and I’m honored to have stood for them in Congress,” said McKinley.

“But there’s more work to be done. We must address the staffing crisis our corrections officers face before the safety in our prisons deteriorates further. Inadequate staffing creates dangerous conditions for our officers and our communities,” McKinley added.

Background
McKinley was honored for his leadership on issues important to federal corrections officers. After several meetings with them, McKinley introduced legislation that made permanent a Federal Bureau of Prisons pilot program that allows correctional workers, who could respond to conflicts, to carry pepper spray. In addition, it expanded the pepper spray availability to medium and higher security facilities. After working this issue for three years, this bill was signed into law in 2016.

McKinley has also introduced H.R. 613, which creates safe storage lockers for corrections officers to store their personal firearms when entering federal prisons. Many officers carry firearms for protection because there have been cases where they are followed upon leaving the prison. This bill has passed the House Judiciary Committee and is expected to pass the full House soon.

McKinley has been a leader on the issue of corrections officer staffing levels for four years. The most recent proposal will cut thousands of positions nationwide, including 127 at the federal prison in Hazelton. McKinley is currently collecting signatures from other Members of Congress on a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging the Department of Justice to reverse course on these cuts, as they will jeopardize officer safety.


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