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I write to you to protest and complain about the article by Laura Lang titled “Repeat Offender” (8/13). The reporter spoke with me and the Labor Committee’s counsel on several occasions and was provided with this union’s official position on the issues addressed. She chose to ignore what we told her and instead misquoted and twisted information provided by two chief shop stewards, who are not authorized to speak for the union, to come to a conclusion that we carefully told her was inaccurate and wrong.

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Simply, this union is offended by Lang’s repeated journalistic attempts to join, align, or connect our positions in any way with any prisoners’ rights group. Lang was told directly that this committee’s views were generally hostile to such prisoners’ rights groups and that she should not make any such connection in any article. She ignored this instruction and at least three times in the article bolstered vacant and so-called prisoner-advocated positions by making it appear that this union agreed with these positions.

This union does not believe that temporarily housing inmates in the Lorton Youth Center gymnasium poses any unusual or inherent risk or mistreats these vicious convicted criminals in any way. Lorton is not the Helmsley Palace, nor should it be. When our members believe that there is a security problem brought about by insufficient staffing, we invoke the grievance process to meet and discuss the problem with management.

There is no reasonable likelihood that a security breach exists at the Youth Center or that a potential exists for violence, riots, or an explosion. Our members are experienced, competent corrections professionals, capable of dealing with any problems that might arise. Every day our members must protect these predators from each other. Our members’ safety is of paramount importance as they protect our society from these convicts.

Chair

Department of Corrections Labor Committee