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Wed Feb 13, 2019, 08:39 AM

Prison, mental hospital workers say they're being 'worked to death'; bill targets overtime

LINCOLN — State prison and mental hospital workers told state lawmakers Monday that they’re being “worked to death,” putting in up to four 16-hour shifts a week because high turnover and low pay are leaving posts unfilled.

“We literally see the inmates more than our own families,” said Carla Jorgens, who works at the State Penitentiary in Lincoln. “Our spirits are broken, and we’re worn down.”

But officials with the administration of Gov. Pete Ricketts said a legislative solution offered by State Sen. Anna Wishart of Lincoln — capping the number of hours worked at no more than 12 hours a day — would make matters worse.

Corrections Director Scott Frakes said turnover is much higher than he’d like, at 31 percent for security staff, though turnover has leveled off after nine years of increases.

Read more: https://www.omaha.com/news/legislature/prison-mental-hospital-workers-say-they-re-being-worked-to/article_94bf5538-8616-5750-b6e8-257c6d2531bf.html

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