President Jorgenson informed the media on Friday, July 27th, that staffing levels and offender disciplinary sentences remain a factor in keeping MAPE staff safe in the prisons. More from that story can be found here:
Statement from MAPE President Chet Jorgenson:
“MAPE employees across Minnesota are extending our deepest sympathies to Joseph Gomm’s family, friends and colleagues [Thursday] following the corrections officer’s death after an assault by an inmate at Stillwater prison yesterday. Joseph, like other corrections officers and state employees, was risking his own safety to ensure his co-workers and other Minnesotans were safe.
“There have been numerous attacks on corrections officers at state prisons this year, including Stillwater and Oak Park Heights. WCCO-TV reports that there were 17 attacks at Stillwater alone during just the first three months of the year.
“The very nature of corrections jobs has made Department of Corrections [DOC] employees a tight-knit family, and we recognize that today is an especially sad day for all of them. MAPE’s nearly 15,000 collective hearts are going out to our DOC colleagues. An assault like this impacts all DOC employees, in addition to corrections officers.
“Joseph’s death is the latest reminder that employee safety and security must be the number one priority at DOC. Our members’ daily struggle with safety and security issues deeply concern us. We have contacted Gov. Dayton and DOC Commissioner Roy to discuss actions needed to keep them safe.
“We know that MAPE employees and our union brothers and sisters have DOC jobs that test their strength and resolve every single day, and we join millions of other Minnesotans who are most grateful for their enduring courage and professionalism.”