NDCS touts continued progress in hiring
OMAHA, Neb. (Press Release) -The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services continues to tout progress in hiring new team members, in particular, those who work most directly with incarcerated individuals. Since December 2021, 675 staff members have been hired, including 576 who are in protective service positions. Nearly 270 new teammates are from 39 states, outside Nebraska.
“June and July were two of our lowest months for staff turnover since the start of the year,” said NDCS Director Scott R. Frakes. “With a few months remaining, we are still on track to have historic low turnover – the best in more than a decade.”
Based on current numbers, the agency is projected to close 2022 with a total agency turnover of around 12%. Turnover among custody staff is around 18%.
“Those numbers could change slightly, but the trend is very promising,” noted Dir. Frakes. “We are encouraged by the continued interest from those who are relocating from other states, as well as the variety of experience they are bringing with them. Our training classes continue to include high numbers of individuals with prior law enforcement, corrections and military backgrounds, which suits our needs very well.”
Hiring incentives continue to be available through the agency. Corporals employed at the three male maximum security facilities can earn $15,000. Bonuses are also available to those hired in healthcare positions and in food service. Details are available on the “Careers” page of the NDCS website.
“The increase in staffing has allowed us to expand operations at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution and the Reception and Treatment Center to five days a week. The two facilities remain on a staffing emergency. As we continue to get new staff hired and trained, we will be able to move those facilities back to a seven day/12 hour operating schedule,” said Dir. Frakes.
In a few weeks, NDCS will begin to move people into the new maximum custody units at RTC, designed to house higher-level security inmates.
“That housing will be a real game-changer for NDCS,” remarked Dir. Frakes. “It is the first location within our corrections system that has housing truly designed for that classification. It includes dayroom space, program space, and other features that will allow for the safe management of high security inmates, but with the ability to provide services and activities that will better allow for meeting their needs.”
Dir. Frakes said moving inmates into the new housing units, will have a positive domino effect at other facilities, primarily NSP and TSCI.
“Not only will it reduce crowding in the other maximum-custody facilities, but it should also change the culture within those facilities, by allowing us to relocate individuals who engage in more problematic behavior. The impact will be very positive,” concluded Dir. Frakes.
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