Prison guards suit up

Battle ready
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 14, 2007
CLOTHES OF WAR: An example Class A uniform at left, and an example battle dress uniform (BDU) at right.

Maine State Prison warden Jeffrey Merrill has decided to replace the prison’s traditional uniform for correctional officers. The prison guards will go from what is known as a Class A uniform, a police-style outfit, to the military style known as the battle dress uniform (BDU). In a February 28 memo to prison staff, he said he made the decision to save $45,000 in the budget, money that will be used to buy new automatic pistols to replace the officers’ revolvers. “Some staff are concerned about maintaining a professional appearance,” he writes. They are concerned about the image the BDU presents to prisoners — that the guards are going to battle. But Merrill urged officers to give the new look “a fair trial” for a year, and then he will re-evaluate.
  Topics: This Just In , Criminal Sentencing and Punishment, Prisons, Jeffrey Merrill
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