Big Spring FCI still on Lock-down


Monday marks the tenth day Big Spring Federal Correctional Institution has been on lock-down.  

The length of the lockdown is something the Prison hasn't seen in a while.  

1st Vice President Union Local 3809 Paula Chaves has worked at the Prison for a little more than 10-years and says that a Correctional Officer was injured prior to the lock-down.  

The case is currently under investigation, but Chaves says it could have been what led the Prison Administration to enforce stricter rules on inmates possessing cell phones.  

Cell phones are considered contraband and according to Chavez, it's for a good reason.

"They are being allowed to continue the crime they came in and were incarcerated for. Whether that is mass producing child pornography, whether that’s buying and selling drugs."  

She says low staff and new technology are the biggest problems the Prison face.  

"The Federal Bureau of Prison or the Agency as we refer to them. Has been playing a game of flag football and the inmates are playing tackle, and we are behind the curve, " Chaves.  

With a population 1,163 total inmates, Chaves believes security needs to be tightened up.  

"I think that the public needs to be made aware, and we want for the public to have a heightened sense of alarm if you will because they are being put in harm's way," said Chavez.

The 195 inmates that make up the camp, are not under as much restriction as those that are behind the fence and that can be a problem.  

"You know, we had an inmate walk away from the camp a couple weeks ago and came back in civilian clothes that he admitted he stole out of somebody's backyard it affects the public," said Chavez.   

Big Spring Mayor Larry McLellan also feels more Correctional Officers need to be hired.  

Chaves agrees, "A Correctional officer staffed at 100% at our faculties and we still need security enhancements because the inmates have changed the game has changed and the agency has not."  

Here is a Letter he wrote to United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  

The only statement from the Federal Bureau of Prisons came in an e-mail from their public affairs officer stating, "On Friday, June 8, 2018, at approximately 12:00 p.m., the inmate population at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Big Spring failed to report to their assigned work details.  Staff secured the housing units, and the institution was placed on limited operational status. An internal investigation is in progress, and the institution will return to full operations as soon as possible.  There were no staff or inmate injuries, and at no time was the public in danger."    

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