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Michigan corrections officers picket over low staffing levels

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Correctional officers from Marquette Branch prison went on the picket line today (Tues) to protest what they call unsustainable staffing levels.

Employees with the Michigan Department of Corrections held signs saying “unsafe conditions” and “MDOC fails officers” just beyond prison property in Marquette.

They say 750 officer vacancies statewide have made working at prisons dangerous.

Byron Osborn is president of the Michigan Corrections Organization. He says widespread mandatory overtime sometimes several days a week is normal practice.

“It’s not uncommon for our folks to be on the clock for 24 hours because they can’t get relieved," said Osborn. "We don’t have anybody to go relieve them.” 

The union wants a complete overhaul in MDOC leadership and is looking to Governor Whitmer and the Legislature to address recruitment and retention of COs in Michigan.