Committee formed to address harassment of prison employees

4 months 3 weeks 5 days ago January 25, 2017 Jan 25, 2017 Wednesday, January 25 2017 Wednesday, January 25, 2017 11:42:00 AM CST in News
By: Samantha Kummerer, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY- State legislators formed a special investigatory committee to examine the workplace environment within the Department of Corrections.

House Speaker Todd Richardson with House Corrections and Public Institutions Committee Chairman Paul Fitzwater formed the committee to address the allegations of harassment of prison employees.

“The harassment that has been uncovered within the department is completely unacceptable and cannot be tolerated,” said Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff.

State Representative Jim Hansen will lead the investigatory panel.

“It is my hope that a thorough investigation will not only give us answers, but also make the working conditions for these employees better,” said Fitzwater, R-Potosi.

Richardson said he is confident that positive changes to the department will come from the committee’s work and a new governor’s leadership.

The investigatory work will begin immediately.

“We have all been shocked and concerned by the stories and the lawsuits that have resulted from the environment that was allowed to exist within the department. It’s clear significant changes need to be made to put an end to this culture, and to give our underpaid corrections employees a safe, professional work environment,” said Hansen, R-Frankford.

Hansen already began talks with correction employees about their workplace environment.

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