Lawmaker introduces measures to protect correctional employees

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OLYMPIA – After years of talking with correctional employees about how to improve their workplace, Rep. Tami Green (D-Lakewood) introduced legislation this session to provide greater support and protection for those who work in correctional facilities.

Recognizing that health care workers in correctional facilities are working around violent offenders, Green introduced legislation this session to help ensure they have a safer work environment. Green’s House Bill 1290 prohibits the Department of Corrections from requiring members of the nursing staff to work overtime.

“Being overworked and overly fatigued is a dangerous combination, especially when working with violent offenders,” Green said. “Errors typically occur at a much higher rate when nurses work overtime, and there is no room for error in a dangerous prison setting.”

 

In addition to House Bill 1290, Green sponsored legislation to help protect correctional employees when they are off duty.

Green’s House Bill 1041 allows correctional employees who have completed government-sponsored law enforcement firearms training to be exempt from certain firearm restrictions.

As shown in recent tragedies, the level of violence in correctional facilities remains an issue. In addition, correctional personnel receive many threats, and they are at risk of retaliation from former inmates when off-duty.

“Corrections personnel, like law enforcement officers, should have the right to protect themselves outside the prison gates,” Green said.

To follow the progress of these bills throughout the session, please click here.

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