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Guard Shortage Means Moving Some Texas Inmates

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HOUSTON (AP) – State prison officials have begun transferring some inmates from two Texas Panhandle units to other penitentiaries due to a lack of corrections officers.

The Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday that the 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. The prison 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.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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