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Staffing Problems Could Further Delay New State Women's Prison

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The new women's prison in Concord was slated to open more than a year ago, but cost overruns turned the $38 million dollars project into a $50 million dollar one and pushed back its opening date by a year.

Now, according to Corrections Commissioner Bill Wrenn, another problem is likely to delay the project further, finding qualified staffers to work there.    

"Our recruiting efforts to date have led us to believe that opening the women's prison in the fall when it will be completed will be problematic."

Wrenn was testifying before the House Finance Committee. Staffing state corrections facilities -- the men's prisons in Concord and Berlin, and the Goffstown women's prison, which slated to close once the new prison opens -- has been a challenge for some time. One that's led to big spending on overtime. The corrections department wants to add a full-time recruiter to help find workers, and is now studying the effect of lowering the physical fitness standards for new hires.  

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.

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