Biden Administration announcement follows Senators’ call to address unsustainable working conditions at FCC Florence
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet applauded the Biden Administration’s announcement that correctional officers and non-custody staff at the Federal Correctional Complex in Florence, Colorado (FCC Florence) would receive a 25 percent retention bonus. In December, the senators urged the Biden Administration to increase pay and address unsustainable working conditions to avoid attrition and recruit new staff.
“Understaffing due to unusually low wages at the only federal supermax facility is absurd. Retention bonuses for the case managers, counselors, maintenance, and administrative staff working at FCC Florence rightly compensate Coloradans for the challenging jobs they do and will make the facility a safer and more dignified place—for employees and inmates alike,” said Hickenlooper.
“For too long, staff at FCC Florence have faced low pay and forced overtime that made it hard to recruit new workers and led to dangerous conditions at the facility,” said Bennet. “By answering our call to increase pay at FCC Florence, the Biden Administration took an important step to ensure a safe environment for BOP staff, the surrounding communities, and the inmate population.”
In March 2022, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) granted a 10 percent retention bonus to non-custody staff – including teachers, case managers, counselors, and maintenance workers – to address staffing shortages. In July 2022, OPM increased the retention bonus from 10 to 25 percent for correctional officers, which helped fill some vacancies. Nonetheless, FCC Florence remained short-staffed by 129 workers as of April. In December 2021 and 2022, called on OPM and the Bureau of Prisons to grant the request from the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1169 to allow all staff to receive a 25 percent retention bonus.