Times Staff Writer

and Hannah Pollock

Within the last two months, 15 correctional staff members left their employment at the Adams County Prison.

The Adams County Prison Board approved the separations of employment Tuesday for 13 corrections officers and two lieutenants.

Of the six newly-hired corrections staff, one started his employment June 10 while others will start later this month.

“Some of them decided soon after hired, it was not the right fit for them,” Adams County Prison Warden Katy Hileman said Tuesday at the meeting.

After the meeting, Hileman declined to disclose the current number of staff vacancies at the prison citing “security” concerns.

Hileman did say there was a “high percentage” of those hired who “didn’t make it to the floor.”

Some of the vacancies impacted the cost of overtime for June, according to Alyssa Harris, Adams County Prison business manager. Harris also attributed the increase to firearms training and Department of Corrections training.

For June, prison officials budgeted $75,892 for overtime, but exceeded that amount by $26,903, with expenditures reaching $102,795, according to budget documents.

A total of 642.5 shifts needed to be filled, which included 423 shifts stemming from vacancies and 57 from block and firearms training, officials said. Other shifts were described as military leave, bereavement, call-offs, hospital duty and the like.

While staff overtime saw an increase in June, there was a decrease in May despite having 530 shifts to fill, documents showed. In those documents, there were 399 shifts stemming from vacancies and 34.5 shifts from block and firearms training.

The prison budgeted $75,892 for overtime for May and saved $21,136 in costs, when the expenditure came in at $54,756, according to officials.

As of June, the total overtime cost has reached $367,229; $910,706 was budgeted for the year, officials said.

Even though officials won’t disclose the extent of the staff shortage for June, the Adams County Prison was fully staffed just seven months ago.

It had been years since the 45 Major Bell Lane facility had a full complement of 113 correctional officers and sergeants, according to officials.

“It was maybe three years ago,” Lt. Larry Snyder said in December. Snyder is now deputy warden of security and operations.

Following an executive session Tuesday, the prison board approved altering the employee pre-screening process.

Hileman said the hope is to remove “some barriers” of getting applicants into the prison.

Currently, she said it takes about two months from the application process to getting staff in the prison. After an application goes in, Hileman said the process calls for closed testing and background checks, interviews, and then two weeks’ notice to be provided to an employer.

With the new process, Hileman hopes it will take about a month to put people to work in their positions at the prison.

Adams County Solicitor Molly Mudd said applicants can go through a new portal from the Adams County Human Resources Department, which involves fewer steps.

Adams County Commissioner Vice Chairman Jim Martin called the new process “more streamlined.” Martin is the chair of the prison board.

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