Kansas prisons face staffing shortages

(KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) — The interim director of the Kansas Association of State Employees says state correctional officers are being put at risk because of critical staffing shortages in state prisons.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Rebecca Proctor testified last week before the Joint Committee on Pensions, Investments and Benefits. The legislative committee may consider legislation to standardize the pension benefits of Corrections Department employees.

Proctor told the committee about inmates attacking guards and said all the adult facilities are short-staffed. She says that lawmakers should address wages before looking at pension benefits.

Department of Corrections spokesman Jeremy Barclay confirmed that job vacancy rates in the state prison system range from 10 to 15 percent at each facility. He says low wages and dangerous working conditions are a big part of the problem.

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