Nashville Prison Faces 'Emergency Staffing Issues'

Posted at 10:38 AM, Jul 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-30 19:00:10-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A state prison in Nashville that houses men with mental illnesses is facing a critical shortage of corrections officers.

According to obtained documents, officials at the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility said they are struggling to meet the demands brought about after implementing a new schedule intended to save $1.4 million statewide in wage costs.

The facility's warden Stevenson Nixon said the changes have sometimes caused workers to work back-to-back shifts. Nixon says he is addressing that problem by having non-security employees who had previously worked as corrections officers temporarily take their old jobs back.

Union president Bryan Merritt of the Tennessee State Employees Association said the Tennessee Department of Correction has told the union that it is working to address the problem.

(Copyright by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)