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Report: Nebraska prisons still face major staffing problems

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ A new report says Nebraska’s prisons continue to face serious staffing problems, including high employee turnover rates and overtime hours.

The independent watchdog report released Wednesday says prison officials have shown improvement in training corrections employees. It also notes that Nebraska paid higher starting wages for correctional officers in 2017 than neighboring Kansas and Missouri.

But the Inspector General for Corrections report says staff members are still experiencing high rates of burnout and often must work 12- to 16-hour shifts. Inspector General Doug Koebernick says more work is needed to improve the situation, and he warns that many employees don’t feel valued and don’t get seniority-based pay increases.

Corrections spokeswoman Dawn-Renee Smith says department officials will review the report and consider its recommendations as they look to make improvements.

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