The Bulletin Board

National Guard members to help ease staff shortage at men’s prison in Concord

By: - January 11, 2022 2:54 pm
Exterior of the state prison

About 25 members of the National Guard will assist at the state prison in Concord. (Dave Cummings | New Hampshire Bulletin)

This story was updated on Jan. 11  at 3:30 p.m. to include comments from a corrections spokeswoman that were received after the story appeared.

The state’s hospitals are the not only ones looking to the New Hampshire National Guard for help with critical staff shortages. Approximately 25 troops are expected to arrive at the men’s prison in Concord Wednesday. 

They won’t directly supervise inmates, corrections spokeswoman Richelle Angeli said Tuesday. Instead, they will work in control rooms and help with exterior roaming patrols, allowing certified corrections officers to fill vacancies that do supervise inmates.

It’s the same role they served when they were called up in 2020, she said.

“Staffing at the men’s prison continues to be a challenge, especially during the winter COVID surge,” she said in an email. They will remain on site for 10 weeks, Angeli said. Corrections Commissioner Helen Hanks asked Gov. Chris Sununu for the reinforcements.

Sununu called up nearly 100 National Guard members in December to support overburdened hospitals with nonmedical jobs in administrative offices and kitchens. Earlier this month, he announced the deployment of another 100 guard members to fill health care vacancies. About 70 will assist in hospitals. The rest will be working in long-term care facilities, he said. 

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Annmarie Timmins
Annmarie Timmins

Senior reporter Annmarie Timmins is a New Hampshire native who covered state government, courts, and social justice issues for the Concord Monitor for 25 years. During her time with the Monitor, she won a Nieman Fellowship to study journalism and mental health courts at Harvard for a year. She has taught journalism at the University of New Hampshire and writing at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications.