Staffing is a problem at Johnston County Jail - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Staffing is a problem at Johnston County Jail

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The Johnston County Jail is having staffing problems. (KTEN) The Johnston County Jail is having staffing problems. (KTEN)

TISHOMINGO, Okla. -- A problem that's all too familiar at the Johnston County Jail has gotten even worse.

After undersheriff and jail administrator Johnny Russell retired, the facility is now down several jailers.

"A lot of that is due to we have a pipeline through the area," Sheriff Jon Smith explained. "We have, of course, a lot of employers that pay quite a bit more money than county employees receive, so they're going to do what best suits them."

That puts the strain of more responsibilities and hours on their current employees.

"It causes our employees to work double shifts, long hours, which is different than what we'd like to see," Russell said.

To try to solve the problem, the sheriff's office is working with county commissioners on a new budget. The hope is that a better salary and a separate position for a jail administrator will make the jail more efficient.

"We are trying to get a new position created for a jail administrator to take a little pressure off of the sheriff," District 2 Commissioner Mike Thompson said.

Until then, Sheriff Smith has nothing but praise for his hard-working jail staff..

"I'm extremely grateful for the people that I have that are dedicated enough to work like they work, and spend weekends and holidays and time off to do the job that's required here," he said.

The sheriff's office and commissioners hope to have a new budget in place by October.

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