Corrections Officials Acknowledge Staffing Problems at Newport Prisons - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Newport, AR

Corrections Officials Acknowledge Staffing Problems at Newport Prisons

SEPTEMBER 7, 2004 - Posted at 4:47 p.m. CDT


NEWPORT, AR - Officials with the Arkansas Department of Correction are to be in Newport Friday morning to meet with the media and discuss problems that are currently being experienced at the McPherson-Grimes units in Jackson County.

According to a news advisory issued to K8 News this afternoon, "The Arkansas Department of Correction has been experiencing difficulty in employee recruitment and retention at its Newport complex.  Although vacancies exist at both facilities, they are far more pronounced at the Grimes unit, which has more than 40 current openings."

Overtime pay may be an issue at the Newport units.  K8 News has had several calls in the past two months from people that identified themselves as employees, or family and friends of employees, complaining about guards and other employees not being paid overtime for extra hours in which they worked.  However, none of these callers have been willing to talk on-camera with KAIT about their complaints.   The news advisory does not address overtime issues, other than to state, "Despite not having a full roster of security staff, all critical posts at both Grimes and McPherson are being covered.  But many officers have to work overtime to ensure that institutional security stays at the highest level."

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