LAWMAKERS CALL ON RICKETTS TO DO 'WHATEVER IS NECESSARY' TO STEM HIGH TURNOVER AMONG PRISON STAFF

Monday, legislators called on Governor Ricketts to do whatever is necessary to stem high turnover in state prison jobs. The Department of Corrections is currently seeing turnover rates of about 1 person leaving the department each day. A 30 page report from a legislative oversight committee encouraged enacting higher pay, better benefits, raises for longevity, and other retention focused initiatives. A spokesman for Ricketts said that the Governor said that Nebraska has increased pay over the past 3 years and now pays more than South Dakota or Kansas. Due to a state law passed two years ago, if the state’s prisons are over 140 percent of capacity by July 1, 2020 an overcrowding emergency will be automatically enacted. The parole board would be required to release parole eligible prisoners until they reached a level of 125 percent.