Unions Raise Concerns After Multiple Assaults on Staff at Manson Youth Institution in Cheshire

The unions representing correctional employees in Connecticut’s Cheshire-area prisons today are calling for action in the wake of multiple assaults on staff at Manson Youth Institution.

AFSCME Local 387 President Rudy Demiraj, a state correctional officer, said there have been three attacks directed at MYI staff that he described as “violent.” The assaults occurred on May 17, May 31 and most recently June 4. The respective victims of the assaults were a teacher, a correctional lieutenant and a correctional officer.

“Manson Youth Institution is not a summer camp, and we are not camp counselors,” Demiraj commented. “This is not the first time we have raised concerns. The agency has watered down the deterrents that could prevent violent behavior by the inmate population. There is a vacuum of accountability that emboldens inmates to act out.”

“Our teachers in the Manson Youth Institution are dedicated to providing a productive educational and safe environment for students and teachers alike," said Roland Bishop, State School Teacher.  “As criminal justice reform is implemented, it is incredibly important that the School District leadership and Department of Correction do their part on safety, and right now they are falling short as these recent assaults show.”

AFSCME Local 387 represents correctional officers and other front-line state prison employees at Cheshire Correctional Institution and Manson Youth Institution.  CSEA SEIU Local 2001 represents teachers and correctional captains and lieutenants at the Cheshire facilities.

“There’s a dangerous side to our jobs that we understand,” Demiraj added. “But that does not justify endangering the safety of our staff and inmates, and the security of our facility. These assaults are a public safety issue that needs to be addressed.”

Media Contacts:
Larry Dorman, Council 4, (860) 989-9127 or [email protected]
Ben Phillips, CSEA, (860) 977-4442 or [email protected]