Pay Our Correctional Officers Fairly Act

H.R. 3199 (Pay Our Correctional Officers Fairly Act) would revise locality pay rates for employees of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) located outside of an established General Schedule locality pay area to ensure competitive and fair pay.

Federal prisons located outside of established General Schedule locality pay areas fall in "Rest of U.S." (RUS) locality pay. These facilities are experiencing extremely high levels of staff turnover and retirement, low morale, and increased mandatory overtime. Several of the BOP facilities classified as RUS are located within 200 miles of the nearest locality pay, meaning that these facilities are near enough to areas with higher cost of living, yet are unable to provide their workforce with wages that take into consideration cost of living and competitive pay opportunities located in comparable professional fields. The GS pay scale was created by the Classification Act of 1923 and refined in the Classification Act of 1949 and is still used today. The current pay scale that is in use is over 90 years old. It is an old and outdated antiquated system that needs to be addressed and adjusted so that staff members can be adequately compensated.

This low rate of pay results in understaffed prisons, overworked employees, creating a dangerous work environment for staff and inmates. Additionally, inmates are negatively impacted because there are not enough staff to supervise them, forcing prisons to scale back, reduce, and eliminate activities such as visitations, recreational time, academic enrichment, and or vocational opportunities which can result in negative impacts on the Congressionally mandated First Step Act.

The Pay Our Correctional Officers Fairly Act (H.R. 3199) would positively address the staffing and retention problems facing BOP facilities by allowing for competitive pay that considers factors such as cost of living, commute times, and the hard work and dedication of our correctional officers. Our correctional professionals consist of law enforcement officers, mothers, fathers, and veterans that have taken on the task of protecting our communities. They are often the forgotten component of law enforcement equation and community. They are in dire need of your assistance. Specifically, BOP facilities located within 200 miles of the nearest General Schedule locality pay area would be eligible for an increase in their base salary that would make them more competitive with other various local, state, and government agencies. Our correctional officers work to keep our communities, staff, and inmate population safe and the value they add to civil society should be adequately reciprocated.

Letter Campaign by
Bettendorf , Iowa