BALTIMORE — Overtime for Maryland prison workers has increased for yet another fiscal year amid what state lawmakers and union officials say is a staffing crisis.
Overtime payments rose to almost $130 million in the 2019 fiscal year, up from $110 million the year before, The Baltimore Sun reported.
In 2013, the prison system paid out $41 million in overtime, and data shows the spending has increased each year since then.
As overtime spending has increased, so has the department’s vacancy rate, which rose from about 5% in 2013 to 20% last year.
Advocates say short staffing can create dangers for officers and inmates and lead to inadequate care and services for prisoners.
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