NDCS employees issue plea to judiciary committee to help with staffing crisis
Staff within the department of corrections say things are dire within the prison system right now, some of them even fearing for their lives while at work.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) —Staff within the department of corrections say things are dire within the prison system right now, some of them even fearing for their lives while at work.
“An inmate put the foot in front of the door and I gave him the directive to move the foot. I followed policy and procedure and the next thing I knew, he was beating me,” a NDCS employee said.
Traumatic stories being told in front of the Judiciary Committee in the Nebraska legislature Wednesday night as the state works to figure out a way to fix the staffing shortage in the prison system.
Dozens of NDCS staffers showing up with a plea for help, including those who say everyday, they are forced to watch others being put into serious danger.
“I know that given the staff and where they are at right now, it is dangerous and it is scary. I routinely put people in positions where they end up being assaulted,” another NDCS employee said.
A recent report from the Inspector General of the Nebraska Correctional System released it’s yearly report of the system and called it a mass exodus.
Employees saying money and administration are where the problems stem when it comes to retaining staff.
“The actual facilities have no power, the wardens have no power, they can’t do anything without central offices direction,” a former employee said.
Some even saying that at times, it feels like the prisoners are in charge and calling on the governor to make a change or call in the national guard for help.
In June when NDC declared a staffing emergency for the Lincoln Correctional Center and the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center, director Scott Frakes said they along with the rest of the state were having trouble bringing in employees saying quote:
“We are feeling the effects that many other industries and businesses are experiencing currently, nationally and across Nebraska. This is a very tight job market, especially in Lincoln and it is having an impact on our two largest facilities – the Nebraska State Penitentiary (NSP) and LCC/DEC.”