Missouri struggling with prison guard shortage - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Missouri struggling with prison guard shortage

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's Department of Correction continues to struggle with a staffing shortage across the state's more than 20 prisons.

Documents filed with Gov. Eric Greitens' budget office say the state's prison system would have at least eight fewer workers beginning in July 2018 at a time when Missouri's inmate population is expected to rise to more than 33,200.

Currently, the DOC has around 500 positions open. Most of those are in custody positions, working directly with officers. 

The prison staffing shortage is causing a spike in overtime costs.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the department spent $9 million in overtime in 2015. That amount skyrocketed to $19 million last year and currently sits at nearly $7 million through the first five months of this fiscal year.

The DOC says that the overtime is not causing a problem with the budget, however. The 500 opening off-sets the effect on the budget.

Corrections officials say the department is working to recruit workers by lowering the minimum qualifying age for an officer from 21 to 19.

If you are interested in applying you can find more information here.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly