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NDCS issues staffing emergency at 2 more facilities

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 11:58 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Over 25% of Nebraska’s corrections facilities are now in a staffing emergency as applications for corrections staff continue to decline. Lincoln Corrections Center and the Diagnostics and Evaluation Center were added to the list after Tecumseh State Correctional Institution and the Nebraska State Penitentiary put in a staffing emergency in 2019.

This means some staff members at the facilities will be working 12-hour shifts.

Data from NDCS shows 1 in every 5 staff members is expected to leave.

NDCS Director Scott Frakes said, “It’s never the intent that that is going to be the long term solution of the problem. it was successful in terms of; there was a lot of efficiencies that come with it.”

Frakes said shifting to this type of schedule means they’ll need fewer people working on the night shift.

According to Frakes, construction is already underway to connect both LCC and DEC.

This means an intake facility will be connected to a maximum-security prison.

“They were close enough where we could do construction and unify the two facilities and it’d be practical,” Frakes said.

Staff will also work at both facilities to help fill in any gaps.

A future issue NDCS is looking into Is how they’ll staff another prison if or when the new state penitentiary is built.

Frakes said, “It’s just a better work space so it’s attractive. So we won’t have a lot of difficulty attracting staff those locations, but many of them will transfer and we’ll have to figure out how to fill behind them.”

NDCS is still offering a $10,000 hiring bonus and a $10,000 referral bonus for staff. An amount they started offering back in 2019.

NDCS currently has around 5,400 inmates at all of its facilities. This puts the facilities at 148% capacity.

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