State addressing wellness, under-staffing of corrections officers

Halawa Correctional Facility

Twenty-one posts were closed Friday at Halawa Correctional Facility because workers either called in sick, were on vacation or on leave. That, combined with the bad weather, caused some prison programs to be cancelled.

The cancellations came just days after visitations were cancelled at two facilities due to under-staffing and employees calling in sick.

The state says adult corrections officers at Hawaii prisons and jails take an average of two sick days a month. Like other state workers, corrections officers receive 21 sick days each year.

“We understand that a lot of times ACOs will call in sick because it is a diffIcult job,” said Ted Sakai, director, Dept. of Public Safety. “We are looking at programs to promote wellness among our staff.”

Sakai also said they are training correction officers now to fill vacant positions.

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