The state has said that this plan will save taxpayers $5 million per year, but the Union said they believe that number is much lower. What concerns them more is that the state tried this plan in the mid-90's at jails including S.C.I. Rockview and Huntingdon. However, after an escape attempt they called it quits. Now the Union wonders why the state wants to put the plan back in place.
The Vice President of the C.O. Union spoke with WTAJ News Wednesday, he said while it is great that the cameras will be able to record inmate activity, they will not be able to protect a guard's safety.
"I was a yard officer, and on at least two occasions I took refuge at the tower because that officer had a weapon and he could protect me from what was going on in the yard at that time. I do not like to see the towers unmanned," Ed McConnell said.
A spokeswoman with the D.O.C. told WTAJ they have strengthened perimeter security around the jails since the 1990's and feel this plan will allow them to maximize productivity from their C.O.'s.