Missouri Prison Employees Slam Work Environment

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — An employee says working in Missouri’s troubled prisons is like “walking into hell.”

Northeast Correctional Center storekeeper Travis Case told a panel of House lawmakers Thursday that prisons are plagued by unfair hiring, little accountability and vague policies that allow for abuse.

House lawmakers are investigating after the Kansas City alternative weekly The Pitch reported on harassment and discrimination claims by prison employees. Some say they were retaliated against.

The paper reported the state’s paid more than $7.5 million in related settlements and judgments from 2012 to 2016.

Farmington Correctional Center corrections officer Lt. Jason Horn told the House panel that poor treatment of employees has led to low morale and high turnover.

Rep. Jim Hansen says he wants to hear from more employees before making recommendations for change.

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