NH National Guard to help with prison staff shortages

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Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 11:07 AM EST
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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The New Hampshire Department of Corrections said it is training National Guard members to fill staffing vacancies at the state prison system for men in Concord because of rising COVID-19 cases.

The department reported more than 50 active virus cases so far this week.

Commissioner Helen Hanks told WMUR-TV about 20 staff are out, and the National Guard will help fill some positions. She said they will not directly supervise inmates.

“We want to be very careful that we reserve the direct resident work to our certified corrections officers and use the National Guard service members in a way that’s effective and will have positive outcomes for all of us,” Hanks said.

Hanks said the prison is following federal and state public health guidelines. She said when a resident is moved to a housing unit or quarantine, they take their contaminated clothing. They also are asked to bath and clean and are provided with fresh items.

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