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How to handle the understaffing crisis in corrections

Correctional officers are having to rack up hundreds of mandatory overtime hours, which can threaten both CO and inmate safety


CorrectionsOne columnist Gary York reports from the Corrections USA conference in Las Vegas. In this video, he interviews Keith Hellwig, a retired captain from the Wisconsin Corrections Department and author of “No Place Like Home” and “Morning Will Come.”

Gary and Keith discuss how understaffing in correctional facilities is impacting the safety of correctional officers and security of facilities.

“It affects us adversely,” notes Hellwig. “Officers are putting in a tremendous amount of hours. I know officers who in addition to their regular 2,000 hours a year have put in 1,500 hours of overtime. A lot of this is not voluntary. It undermines staff morale and safety. The people who are there for that many hours are trying to do their jobs, but it is hard to be diligent. There comes a point where you hit that wall and then you are not as aware of your situation around you and things are going to happen.”

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