(FOX NEWS) – King County, Washington, home to the city of Seattle, is facing a severe staffing shortage in jails after 35 correctional officers were let go over the coronavirus vaccine mandate implemented by local government leaders.
The staffing shortage has caused the county to implement a temporary increase in voluntary overtime pay and local unions say that some non-violent inmates may have to be released to keep conditions safe within the jails.
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According to Dennis Folk, president of the King County Corrections Guild, there are nearly 100 correctional officer vacancies, and around 400 officers are currently employed by the department. He says there should be around 600 correctional officers. Because of the vaccine mandate for county employees implemented by King County Executive Dow Constantine, around 35 employees from the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention are no longer working at jail facilities according to Folk, leaving county jails with a major staffing shortage.