Commissioner addresses staffing problems at Alabama prisons - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Commissioner addresses staffing problems at Alabama prisons

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama’s prison system faces problems that the Alabama Prison Transformation Act won’t help, and most of it comes down to staffing.

“The major issue, to use a military term, is boots on the ground. We need more boots on the ground,” said Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn.

Alabama’s prisons are both understaffed and overcrowded. According to Dunn, officers sometimes are responsible for 100 inmates at a time.

“We are working as hard as we can to bring help - both short, mid and long term help,“ Dunn said.

The short-term is trying to help out prisons going through issues. Recently, the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore has seen riots, officers stabbed and one officer’s death.

Dunn said the department is upping searches and shakedowns, implementing tactical teams and reinforcing trouble areas as much as they can.

However, that sometimes means taking officers away from other state prisons.

“We are just robbing Peter to pay Paul because the department is stretched thin staffing wise,” Dunn said.

The lack of staffing creates issues, and Dunn said officers have to focus on keeping themselves safe.

“Don’t enter into a situation that you feel you cannot handle, back out if you have to,” Dunn said.

The Department of Corrections has an obvious problem, but no real quick fixes.

Dunn’s midterm plan is an attempt to address staffing. He is pushing increased benefits and advancement opportunities to officers. The hope is this will attract and keep more officers to help watch over the state’s prisons.

Most state leaders believe the Alabama Prison Transformation Act is the long-term solution. But in the meantime, Dunn said he is doing what he can to keep officers safe.

“My role here is to continue to lead the department and to continue to push with everything I can for the solution we have on the table. And while we are doing that, take what resources we do have and put them in those areas we need them the most,” Dunn said.

Copyright 2016 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Macy's parade rolls on with balloons, bands, security

    Macy's parade rolls on with balloons, bands, security

    Thursday, November 23 2017 12:32 AM EST2017-11-23 05:32:23 GMT
    Thursday, November 23 2017 1:32 PM EST2017-11-23 18:32:57 GMT

    The parade will feature heavy security, including officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors, sharpshooters on rooftops and sand-filled city sanitation trucks poised as barriers to traffic.

    More >>

    The parade will feature heavy security, including officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors, sharpshooters on rooftops and sand-filled city sanitation trucks poised as barriers to traffic.

    More >>
  • Olympic gymnastics ex-doctor pleads guilty to sex charges

    Olympic gymnastics ex-doctor pleads guilty to sex charges

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 1:51 AM EST2017-11-22 06:51:40 GMT
    Thursday, November 23 2017 1:23 PM EST2017-11-23 18:23:42 GMT

    Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas are among the women who have publicly said they were among the doctor's victims.

    More >>

    Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas are among the women who have publicly said they were among the doctor's victims.

    More >>
  • In terror-wary NYC, security tight for Thanksgiving parade

    In terror-wary NYC, security tight for Thanksgiving parade

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 10:01 AM EST2017-11-22 15:01:53 GMT
    Thursday, November 23 2017 1:23 PM EST2017-11-23 18:23:19 GMT

    Security for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature trucks filled with sand, concrete barriers and scores of police officers.

    More >>

    Security for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature trucks filled with sand, concrete barriers and scores of police officers.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly