Nevada prison officials say staff increases are critical

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CARSON CITY (AP) - Nevada prison officials are asking lawmakers
to approve hundreds of new positions to staff expansion projects
that will add about 27-hundred new inmate beds by 2009, and also
say current operations are critically understaffed.
State prisons chief Howard Skolnik told lawmakers that prisons
have been run on a "shoestring" budget for many years, and lack
the resources to train and develop staff.
Governor Jim Gibbons' recommended budget allocates 547 (m)
million dollars to the department over the next two years, up 29
percent from the last biennium. The department is asking for 352
new positions.
A report last year found understaffing in the prison system has
resulted in higher risks for prisoners, guards and the general
The American Civil Liberties Union says the budget contains the
wrong priorities, and wants lawmakers to instead put more resources
toward staffing rehabilitation programs to help prisoners re-enter