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Pennsylvania prisons put under a hiring freeze

Published June 10. 2014 12:27PM

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The state has instituted a hiring freeze at Pennsylvania's prisons to save money, but the union that represents corrections officers says the administration is gambling with the officers' lives.

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

Jason Bloom, western region vice president of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association, tells that prison staffing is at the 2008 level, while there are 5,000 more inmates since then.

Bloom says the inmates know the corrections officers are already outnumbered and this step will make it worse.

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