Juvenile detention employees say conditions unsafe
HONOLULU (AP) — Employees at a state juvenile detention facility in Kapolei complain staffing shortages create unsafe working conditions.
They say they routinely have to work 16- or 24-hour shifts because of other workers frequently calling in sick. Staffing shortages created by workers calling in sick are also a problem at adult corrections facilities, resulting in frequent cancellations of weekend family visits.
State judiciary spokeswoman Tammy Mori said officials are trying to improve the staffing situation. The facility created 10 new temporary positions in the last two years in an attempt to address the shortage, she said.
The judiciary oversees the juvenile facility for 13- to 17-year-olds who are awaiting trial or placement in mental health or drug treatment programs.
“Obviously it’s unacceptable,” Mori said of working shifts that are 16 hours or longer. “It’s in very rare and also extreme circumstances where we have to have people stay beyond the eight hours.”
Employees will soon be able to wear portable duress buttons they can press for help during an emergency, Mori said.
As of June 13, the facility has spent about $552,000 on overtime, more than twice the budgeted amount for the fiscal year that ends June 30.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.