Pennsylvania prisons put under a hiring freeze - abc27 WHTM

Pennsylvania prisons put under a hiring freeze

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The state has instituted a hiring freeze at Pennsylvania's prisons to save money, and the corrections officers' union says the administration is risking the officers' safety if it drags on.

Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel issued an internal memo May 27 imposing a department-wide hiring freeze immediately until at least July 1.

Pennlive.com first reported on the memo Tuesday.

Wetzel's memo says the hiring freeze is the first step in dealing with tight finances resulting from the state's growing budget shortfall.

Roy Pinto, president of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association, says prison staffing is at the 2008 level, while there are 5,000 more inmates since then. He says the officers' biggest concern is their own safety and a hiring freeze that lasts well past July 1 will increase the danger.

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