Douglas County considers pay raise to improve jail staffing issues

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A pay raise is among the ideas being considered to help Douglas County keep enough officers to manage the growing number of inmates in its jail.

The Douglas County Jail has just over 330 correctional officers but is authorized to have more than 370.

County Corrections Director Mark Foxall told the County Board that the jail is seeing a near-record level of inmates, and many have mental illnesses. The jail’s average daily population was 1,245 in January.

Foxall says the circumstances have led to increasing mandatory overtime and to difficult working conditions, making it hard to keep employees.

Some board members say they’d considering raising pay to improve employee retention. Board member Marc Kraft says they could consider raising taxes to avoid larger, more expensive problems.