Tecumseh, Neb. — The Tecumseh State Correctional Institution (TSCI) is taking another step toward resuming a normal operational schedule. The facility will increase inmate movement on the weekends – a move that started Saturday, Nov. 26.
“The facility has been operating under a staffing emergency since December 2019, which is when we implemented 12-hour shifts,” said Diane Sabatka-Rine, interim director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS). “In October 2021, we stepped the facility down to a four-day operational schedule. That has since increased to five days, with the ability to now increase basic activities over the weekend.”
The Reception and Treatment Center (RTC) also remains on a modified operational schedule, due to a staffing emergency implemented in September 2021. While the bulk of activity is carried out on a four-day schedule, that facility has also been able to gradually increase basic activities, to include weekends. The Nebraska State Penitentiary (NSP) returned to normal operations in June.
“That facility is back to running three, eight-hour shifts per day, seven days a week. The necessity of bringing additional staff to the facility by van from Omaha also ceased,” said Sabatka-Rine. “Because each facility is unique in terms of staff positions, the populations they serve, physical layout and activities — the return to normal operations is different for each facility.”
Since the start of the year, NDCS has hired in excess of 700 new staff members. The majority, more than 600, have filled custody-related positions – those who work most closely with the inmate population. As the end of the year nears, NDCS is on track to have historic low team member turnover and low vacancies.
“Our greatest strides have been in hiring custody staff. That said, we also intend to keep a deliberate focus on our health service needs. New billboards will soon appear outside of NSP and TSCI, touting available nursing positions,” stated Sabatka-Rine.