Correctional officer shortage taking a toll on NM prison staff

Deputy Corrections Secretary Mark Myers says the department cannot keep "running officers into the ground"


Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — New Mexico officials say challenges in recruiting and maintaining corrections officers is causing large staffing shortages across state prisons.  Five of the six state-run prison facilities have vacancy rates of 20 percent or more.

The shortage has led to corrections officers complaining about mandatory overtime for not that much pay.

Deputy Corrections Secretary Mark Myers says the department cannot keep "running officers into the ground."

Myers says the state's salary for guards is among the lowest nationally, even with a 2014 pay raise.

The agency has hired an outside firm to conduct a study of staffing and how to best deploy corrections officers.

Officials say the study is expected to be completed in a month.

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