A fact sheet recently published by the organization In the Public Interest has some good information to use with legislators about the conditions in our nation's prisons and the impact working conditions have on correctional workers and their families.
The document covers issues such as overcrowding, understaffing, mental illness, stress, burnout, and violence. It lists the following facts:
- Correctional staff members suffer 2,000 injuries from non-fatal violent incidents on the job every year, and from 1999 to 2008 113 correctional officers lost their lives while at work.
- Staff at private prisons experienced 49% more assaults than public prisons staff.
- 44% of correctional officers report symptoms of PTSD and they also report higher levels of depression, sleep difficulty, and memory impairment.
- Correctional facility workers have higher rates of depression, anxiety, divorce and substance abuse than the general public and other law enforcement professionals.
- Correctional officers commit suicide at nearly twice the rate of police officers and the general public.
In the Public Interest is a comprehensive resource center located in Washington D.C. that researches the impact of privatization and responsible contracting.