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State prison workers quitting fast, citing low staffing

RALEIGH (AP) — North Carolina’s prisons are on a hiring push, but they’re losing workers almost as fast as new ones are hired because of forced overtime resulting from low staffing levels.

WNCN reports a top leader in the state’s Public Safety Department says with one out of five jobs unfilled vacancy rates are at historic levels. Deputy Secretary Tracy Little told members of the state’s prison reform advisory board on May 22 that all the mandatory overtime forced to cover tasks required despite short staffing pushes people into quitting.

Employees questioned in exit surveys cite the workload and lack of adequate staffing as their top reason for leaving. That’s followed by inadequate compensation, unsafe working environment, and scheduling.

State records show 1,812 correctional officers were hired last year, 70 more than those quitting.

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