California prisons to hire more staff to review wrongdoing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California's corrections department is hiring additional employees to speed up its investigations of wrongdoing by prison guards and other staff.

Spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman said Thursday that the department also will increase its scrutiny of employees who are accused of being dishonest.

The changes come as a state inspector general released a 341-page report criticizing the department for often failing to meet deadlines for investigating and disciplining cases of employee wrongdoing.

The report details misconduct by staff such as smuggling cellphones and drugs and having sexual contact with inmates between July and December 2013.

Hoffman said the department is drafting a policy to require wardens to refer cases for investigation within 45 days.

She could not immediately say how many more employees will be hired to help reduce backlogs and delays.

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