Home>702Times>New Director Plans to Change Nevada Prison System’s Failure to Address Use of Force Issues

New Director Plans to Change Nevada Prison System’s Failure to Address Use of Force Issues

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, January 17, 2023 6:59 am

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (702 Times, NV Globe) – State auditors found that the Nevada Department of Corrections failed to resolve use-of-force problems that were discovered in 2022.

Ten months after a year-long state audit revealed that the use of force policies in Nevada’s jail system needed significant revision, NDOC officials have admitted that none of the 16 suggestions intended to enhance prison operations had been implemented.

The recommendations included putting new body camera technology—which had already cost $200,000—into use, improving the recording of complaints and occurrences involving the use of force, and improving staff training on how to handle firearms.

The head of the department of prisons will change in 2023. Governor Joe Lombardo tapped former director James Dzurenda to return in the same role with hopes of bringing stability to a department that just in the last five months dealt with a prison break at Southern Desert Correctional Center, followed by the forced resignation of its director, a hunger strike at High Desert State Prison and Warm Springs Correctional Center shut down.

Prior to Dzurenda’s appointment, interim director Bill Gittere informed legislators that due to severe personnel constraints, suggestions had not been completely implemented. He claimed that as a result, the department’s attention has been directed toward pressing concerns like prisoner and public safety.

Finding alternatives to the use of force by prison personnel was one of his key objectives during his prior term, according to Dzurenda, who also mentioned that during his previous tenure as director he halted the use of birdshot at Nevada prisons. The term “birdshot” refers to the employment of shotgun pellets.

Dzurenda’s return to the department should hasten the execution of the use of force recommendations, Gittere informed the MPs.

Credits: FOX 5 VEGAS

Copyright 2023 702 Times, NV Globe. All rights reserved.

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