Juvenile corrections officers call working conditions ‘deplorable’

Posted: Updated:
BRIDGEPORT -

Juvenile corrections officers are sounding the alarm about working conditions they are calling deplorable.

Union leaders have said for months the Bridgeport Detention Center has been so short-handed that they have been forced to work double shifts, sometimes without a bathroom break.

Union reps say the shortage also means they lack backup to safely deal with a situation, such as a fight, or to give troubled teenagers the attention they need to turn things around.

"It's very difficult when there is not another staff member available to respond, to help you de-escalate the situation before it goes to an out-of-control situation," says detention officer Ron Nelson.

Workers say the shortage snowballed due to a major budget cut back in 2016, injuries on the job and mismanagement by the judicial branch.

A spokesperson for the judicial branch says they recently hired 19 new officers and hope to have another class ready in the fall.

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