Saying that the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) has not done enough to keep officers and staff safe, AFSCME Local 898 President Jeff Grabenstein last week said that “We need to lockdown these facilities, receive training on how to deal with a potential drug outbreak and improve our mail screening procedures.” Two workers at the Western Correctional Institution were sent to the hospital last week after being potentially exposed to a letter soaked in an unknown substance. Other states changed mail processing procedures, put their facilities on full lockdowns and implemented a variety of other safety measures after facilities in Pennsylvania and Ohio were exposed to airborne fentanyl last month, sending dozens to seek medical treatment. “We are very concerned,” said Grabenstein, “especially for our mailroom and administration employees, that without enhanced screening Maryland facilities could face a serious outbreak.” AFSCME Local 898 said it’s continuing to fight for enhanced safety procedures at all Maryland Correctional Institutions. AFSCME is preparing for labor management negotiations with DPSCS this Wednesday, and is calling for action immediately to enhance safety procedures. Read more here.
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