The workers of Delano’s Community Correctional Facility—which has been closed for months—came together to fight off an attempt to privatize the facility.
Now, as the CCF reopens to accept prisoners, it will remain a city-run facility. And the residents of Delano, as well as those who work there, will benefit.
At Monday’s city council meeting, 16 CCF workers told the Delano City Council that a privatized CCF will put the city at risk by cutting corners. And the fully trained correctional officers in Delano will be able to help the city’s police in emergencies—something private security isn’t qualified to do.
The corporation that wanted to privatize the CCF was assisted by the man who had been chief of the CCF, and so had knowledge and connections. Yet the workers were able to overcome the corporate opposition with unity and truth.
It helps that SEIU 521 is supporting a bill that will designate the COs as “peace officers.” That bill has also passed a state Senate committee. When it passes the whole Legislature and is signed, the COs will have more flexibility and authority.
“I’m exhilarated. It shows there are strength in numbers. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you come together with one goal in mind, and you press for that goal. Every voice matters. That’s the way our system is made up, that every voice matters.” — Jeff Stevenson, correctional officer, Delano CCF