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County supervisors call for safety reforms at Atwater prison

Merced County Supervisors on Tuesday joined a growing list of local elected leaders calling for safety-related reforms at U.S. Penitentiary Atwater.

The supervisors unanimously approved a resolution asking the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which oversees all federal prisons, to better protect its correctional officers.

The vote follows the June 20 death of USP Atwater officer Jose Rivera. The 22-year-old Navy veteran was attacked and stabbed by two inmates wielding handmade weapons inside a housing unit at the 7-year-old penitentiary.

City councils in Merced, Atwater and Livingston have already passed similar resolutions.