SOCF union leader speaks out, say COs are victims twice

Posted Mar. 23, 2016 by

Southern Ohio Correctional Facility Chap. 7330 President Randy Hiles told his local paper, The Portsmouth Daily Times, that Corrections Officers are being doubly victimized when faced with a possible infectious disease contamination: once by the inmate and once by red tape and medication-induced sickness that often comes with disease prevention.

“Our officers, from time to time, have inmates throw body fluids in their face – urine, feces, other body fluids,” said Hiles. “And when this happens, naturally the concern of the officer is if the inmate is HIV positive or has some other infectious disease.”

Often, after events like this, a cocktail of medication is required to prevent any infectious disease.

Unfortunately, Hiles says, the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) policy on Workers’ Compensation does not cover the subject. He also said it isn't covered by Occupational Injury Leave (OIL).

The medication is considered preventative and the assault not an actual workplace injury....that is, unless a staff member actually contracts an infectious disease as a result, including HIV and Hepititis C.

“One of the side effects of the medication is that it makes you deathly sick,” Hiles said. “But they are still forced to come to work.”

Hiles says the fear of disease by assault is incredibly high at SOCF because the maximum security prison, located in remote Lucasville, Ohio, houses some of the most aggressive and dangerous inmates in the State of Ohio.

Read the article: Union official says SOCF officers are victims twice