Staff Shortage at Wisconsin Prisons Costing Taxpayers $60m

MADISON, Wis. — A staffing shortage at Wisconsin prisons is pushing corrections officers to work long hours, costing taxpayers at least $60 million in overtime pay.

Data from the state Department of Corrections shows roughly 15% of corrections officers positions are unfilled at Wisconsin’s prisons. The problem is currently most severe at Waupun Correctional Institution where 40% of jobs are vacant.

The Wisconsin Public Radio reported that during a committee hearing Wednesday, Rep. Michael Schraa questioned whether the situation was reaching a crisis.

The DOC is requesting around $88.3 million annually, which includes salary and fringe benefits, under the next state budget due to an expected increase in overtime costs and compensation.

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