By Ethan Colbert
Flanked by members of the Missouri Department of Corrections administration and local state representative Jim Hansen, MDC Director Anne Precythe heard from multiple members of the North East Correctional Center staff, who on Friday described in one of two townhall-style meetings held that day in Bowling Green, a work environment where employees are over-worked, under-paid, and growing more and more frustrated with work conditions.
According to several department employees who attended the meeting, hiring additional staff, which would curb the state’s ongoing staffing shortage within the Department of Corrections, would also negate many of the issues raised at Friday’s meeting.
“The biggest elephant in the room is staffing,” said one attendee, who described himself as an 18-year employee of the North East Correctional Center.
According to a Department of Corrections spokesperson, the department has 11,200 employees throughout the state. During an interview earlier this month, the spokesperson identified that there were 700 open starting-level corrections officer positions statewide with a total of around 5,000 corrections officer positions.
According to this particular employee, the staff at NECC are frustrated by having to work overtime to try and cover shifts.
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