State prisons are understaffed, and employees are striking across state
The Michigan Department of Corrections is doing what it can to address chronic understaffing in state prisons.
The department is responding to picketing around Michigan by correctional officers, who say too much mandated overtime is making their jobs more dangerous.
MDOC spokesman Chris Gautz says the system loses about 600 officers a year due to retirement, promotions and firings. The department was going to hire 250 correctional academy graduates in March… then the pandemic hit. Now the department has 20-million dollars in state funding to employ more people.
“We plan to hire about 950 new officers between now and next fall.”
Gautz says the MDOC isn’t funded by the Legislature to be at zero vacancies… and officers complain when they can’t get overtime.