LOS ANGELES, July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Council of Prison Locals held an informational picket at the Los Angeles District Courthouse on Spring Street to show support for slain Correctional Officer Jose Rivera and his family, and to condemn the plea deal given to Joseph Cabrera-Sablan, one of the inmates convicted of murdering Rivera at USP Atwater in 2008.
Surrounded by AFGE members in the Los Angeles area, Council of Prison Locals President Eric Young remembered Officer Rivera as a man who served his community and his country at every opportunity, including a deployment to Iraq.
"Jose put it all on the line for the American people while serving in Iraq, and behind the prison walls and fences at USP Atwater," said Young. "He laid down his life so the American people can have peace of mind that dangerous criminals won't hurt their communities. America should do his family the same courtesy."
AFGE National Vice President George E. McCubbin III echoed Young's statement, adding that "The system failed Jose Rivera and his family, and it failed correctional officers nationwide."
An urgent concern among officers is that the plea bargain exposes correctional workers to more threats because it sends a messages to inmates that murdering a correctional officer is a survivable offense.
"Federal correctional officers put their lives on the line every single day," AFGE National President J. David Cox said. "They keep America safe by making sure the most dangerous criminals in the country are taken off the street and secured behind bars. This plea agreement today makes their jobs even more dangerous, and it is an absolute outrage."
Visit the AFGE Safe Prisons Project website for more information on how the AFGE Council of Prison Locals is working to make federal correctional facilities safer for correctional workers and inmates.
AFGE is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia,including 33,000 correctional workers in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees