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Missouri prisons struggle with critical correctional officer shortage
By missourinet.com- Alisa Nelson
Published: 12/06/2017

Missouri’s prisons have a severe shortage of correctional officers to guard the state’s 34,000 offenders. Department of Corrections Director Anne Precythe tells Missourinet they lack about 500 officers among its 22 facilities.

“That’s devastating, especially when you look at particular pockets of our neighboring facilities that have 110 vacancies between two facilities. That contributes to the mandatory overtime and to the increased costs,” says Precythe. “It’s killing our staff. If we were to reduce the prison population, the staffing would be more manageable. We still need to fill the vacancies, but the quality of work that the correctional officers can provide would just be so much better.”

The state’s institutions are currently at capacity. Missouri is working with the Council of State Government’s Justice Center to find ways to better use state funding for its criminal justice system, instead of building another prison.

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