Texas prison staff shortage raising concerns - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Texas prison staff shortage raising concerns

Posted: Updated:

Texas - There's an increased concern over the safety of prison staff in Texas.

A staffing shortage is not a new problem at Texas prisons but it's getting worse.

Union leaders and prison officials agree that it's due to the growth of the oil and gas industry.

As a result, it's created private sector jobs that compete with prisons for workers.

The spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice says although the department is aware they are understaffed, all "critical security positions are filled."

Serious assaults on staff members in Texas also continues to rise; in 2010 there were 72 and in 2012 there were 96.

The last time an officer was killed by an inmate was in 2007.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says they've begun to see a high turnover rate.

This has led to corruption among some officers, since they have no intent in staying in the business.

To combat the situation, within the past decade the department has implemented new measures including body alarms, video surveillance systems and stab-resistant vests.

  • Local HeadlinesMore>>

  • Management, Safety Cited for Radiation Release at WIPP Plant

    Management, Safety Cited for Radiation Release at WIPP Plant

    Department of Energy investigators say a radiation release from the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico was the result of a slow erosion of safety at the 15-year-old site.
    Department of Energy investigators say a radiation release from the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico was the result of a slow erosion of safety at the 15-year-old site.
  • Authorities Apprehend Wanted Man in Odessa

    Authorities Apprehend Wanted Man in Odessa

    A man who had been on the run from authorities is now behind bars.Officials found Delton Jones around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night in the 300 block of Pecos Street in Odessa. 
    A man who had been on the run from authorities is now behind bars.Officials found Delton Jones around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night in the 300 block of Pecos Street in Odessa. 
  • Man Killed by Texas Trooper Wanted on Warrants

    Man Killed by Texas Trooper Wanted on Warrants

    Authorities say a driver who was fatally shot by a Texas trooper after falsely identifying himself during a traffic stop was wanted on felony warrants out of California and was a gang member.
    Authorities say a driver who was fatally shot by a Texas trooper after falsely identifying himself during a traffic stop was wanted on felony warrants out of California and was a gang member.