Public deserves to know what's going on at prison

The mixed messages coming out of the Nevada State Prison would be comical if there weren't so much at stake.

One side, some guards who are members of The State of Nevada Employees Association, say conditions have deteriorated so much that they and people living nearby aren't as safe as they once were.

The other side, prison administrators and other guards, reply that there is no truth to any of the accusations and say the guards who distributed a flier in early June are merely unhappy with the rules and expectations put in place by new management.

So, the public needs to know, what's the truth?

Are these scare tactics by disgruntled employees? A flier they distributed on June 2 to homes around the prison suggested there were risks from new policies at the prison: "It is our obligation to inform you, the public, that we feel that we can no longer assure your safety," read the flier. Another more recent flier alleges there have been security lapses that have led to three lockdowns in June.

What we do know is they are accusations made by guards who ought to know what's happening, and we also know there have been some troubling events of late at the prison. Two fights in recent weeks left one prisoner injured and another dead.

But we also know there's been a history of squabbles between management and employees at the prison, and it's possible this is just more of the same. The trouble is, these aren't office workers in cubicles. These are guards charged with watching over potentially violent criminals while keeping themselves and the public safe. That fact makes the public a stakeholder.

Prison administrators need to get their house in order by meeting with staff to resolve these issues. And the public deserves a meeting soon thereafter to be told what's really happening within the walls of the prison.


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