KCOY — SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. the attack on officers by a prison inmate at the California Men's Colony (CMC) raises more safety concerns from correctional officers across the Central Coast.
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) in San Luis Obispo says the attack is another symptom of Senate Bill AB 109 and one of the many risks officers at CMC face.
Correctional Officers at the prison deal with individual inmates on a daily basis with rehabilitation programs, medical care and they face many potential dangers.
Officers says they deal with the mentally ill and inmates who manufacture weapons from anything they can get their hands on. Representatives from CCPOA labor union say the staff reduction of 100 officers doesn't help.
"Through AB109 and standardization, we have a lot less staff to do the same job," says California Correctional Peace Officers Association San Luis Obispo Chapter President Hershel Keel. "Our population hasn't changed nor the programs that we provide--that hasn't changed but we're doing the same with less and when you stretch your staff too thin, you make it a less safe environment."
The officers' labor union says in less than 18 months the number of officers institution-wide has dropped from 780 to 680 officers.
CMC officials say the prison population has seen a drop from March 2011 from 5,900 inmates to 4,900 inmates today.
In the past 12 months, officers have been attacked 15 times by inmates.
The union says for every one officers there are about 100 or more inmates.