Nebraska Prisons Face Serious Staffing Problems

Nebraska prisons have major ground to make up when it comes to addressing staffing issues. A new report says that Nebraska's prisons continue to face serious staffing problems, including high employee turnover rates and overtime hours.

The report released on Wednesday by an independent watchdog says prison officials have shown improvement in training corrections employees and paying higher starting wages for correctional officers. In 2017, Nebraska paid its correctional officers better than neighbors Kansas and Missouri.

Although there have been improvements, the Inspector General for Corrections report says staff members are still experiencing high rates of burnout because employees regularly work twelve to sixteen hour shifts. The Inspector General, Doug Koebernick, says more work needs to be done to improve the situation. He warns that many employees don't feel valued and don't get seniority-based pay increases, which brings down morale and causes high rates of turnover.

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