The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

May 9, 2013

Alabama prisons still understaffed despite new workers

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's prison system is getting dozens of new officers, but officials say it's still badly understaffed.

The Department of Corrections is holding a graduation ceremony in Selma on Thursday for 70 new correctional officers. It's the first of three corrections classes planned for this year at the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center.

But department spokesman Brian Corbett says the agency loses more than 20 officers a month through attrition, so the new officers only make up for three months of normal turnover.

Corbett says the department is staffed at only 60 percent of its authorized personnel levels.

Records show state prisons held about 25,300 inmates in January, which was about 150 percent more than their designed capacity.

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