Guard Shortage Forces Transfer Of Some Texas Inmates

HOUSTON (December 11, 2012)--State prison officials are transferring some inmates from two Texas Panhandle units to other penitentiaries because of a shortage of corrections officers.

Units in more remote parts of the state are facing guard shortages approaching 50 percent.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says about 200 inmates have been moved from the Smith Unit in Lamesa, which has a 2,234-inmate capacity, but has been operating with about half the needed correctional officers.

Prison officials are moving about 400 inmates to lockups throughout the state from the Ware Unit in Colorado City.

The prison has a 916-inmate capacity.

Lance Lowry with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has called for higher wages for Texas prison staffers.