Union workers at Hazelton prison worried about staff cuts

HAZELTON — Union employees at the federal facilities in Hazelton are concerned about possible staff reductions at the prisons.

Richard Heldreth, president of Local 420 of the American Federation of Government Employees, said workers were told that 127 positions could be cut in the president’s proposed budget.

“It’s 6,000 positions nation wide,” Heldreth said. All types of positions will be impacted, he said. The cuts would occur through attrition, Heldreth said.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons has four facilities at Hazelton. According to the Bureau of Prisons website, a total of 3,437 inmates are incarcerated at the four facilities.

Heldreth said there are 880 positions at Hazelton, and about 400 of those are correctional officers.