Prison safety concerns stretch to Redgranite as well

Posted at 7:02 PM, Aug 19, 2016

Another community leader in northeast Wisconsin is taking notice of the growing concerns over safety at state-run prisons in Wisconsin. Just this week Waupaca Mayor Brian Smith, who is also a 14th District State Senate candidate, took a tour of the Redgranite Correctional Institution. The tour was an attempt to find out what could be done to make the facility safer for everyone.

At the Redgranite Correctional Institution much of their staff was lost in 2010 when Act 10 stripped many benefits, pay and rights away from employees.

When Waupaca Mayor Brian Smith toured this facility and chatted with the warden just this week, he found out about the mandatory overtime many officers are required to do. We're talking about double shifts at a high risk job often more than a couple times a week.  The mayor also got the impression from the Warden that many employees  are leaving the profession and the jobs are getting harder and harder to fill.

"When they lose employees it takes a long time to rehire people in those positions. They basically have a hiring freeze. They have to get permission to hire people and they are never at full staff whether it's correction officers, or food services, psychologists, social workers, they're never fully staffed, even though they have more inmates than what this place is set up to handle," says Waupaca Mayor Brian Smith.

It is worth noting that Mayor Smith felt safe when he toured this facility and the guards he met truly cared about the importance of the job that they are enlisted to do. The Mayor just hopes that the state will pay the employees what he says they are worth and in turn that could help fill those vacant positions to make the prison a safer place.