Hazelton Security Personnel Demand Urgent Measures to Tackle Safety and Staffing Issues

Credits: Securiteam

Employees at Hazelton federal prison are sounding the alarm about unsafe working conditions stemming from inadequate staffing levels and a lack of leadership response to recent violent incidents.

During a recent appearance on MetroNews “Talkline,” American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 420 President Justin Tarovisky revealed troubling incidents, including the sexual assault of a female guard by an inmate, followed by assaults on several other staff members and a stabbing between inmates.

Despite these attacks, Tarovisky criticized leadership for failing to lock down the facility and send a clear message to inmates. Tarovisky highlighted similarities to past crises, particularly in 2016, which resulted in multiple inmate suicides and homicides.

Security Personnel (Credits: PARiM)

He emphasized the urgent need for decisive action from leadership, citing previous successful measures implemented by former warden Bryan Antonelli following the 2018 murder of gangster Whitey Bulger.

Antonelli’s proactive approach involved aggressive hiring practices and improved safety protocols, which Tarovisky believes are essential for maintaining a safe environment for both staff and inmates.

The response from USP Hazelton leadership to the recent incidents did not acknowledge the sexual assault but confirmed that two employees were assaulted by inmates. However, due to privacy and security concerns, further comments on the ongoing investigation were withheld.

Tarovisky underscored the importance of a zero-tolerance policy towards violence against staff members, stressing that ensuring law and order, safety, and security is paramount. He recalled the positive impact of Antonelli’s tenure, labeling him a “fixer” who swiftly addressed safety and staffing issues.

In dealing with some of the nation’s most dangerous individuals, Tarovisky emphasized the necessity of assertive measures. He warned that current actions, or lack thereof, are exacerbating tensions and increasing the likelihood of further serious incidents.

Drawing on his 15 years of experience at USP Hazelton, Tarovisky emphasized the need for unwavering commitment to maintaining order within the facility. He stressed that failure to enforce discipline could lead to a loss of control and endanger both staff and inmates alike.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.