Nearly one-third of federal correctional officer jobs in the United States are vacant, forcing prisons to use cooks, teachers, nurses and other workers to guard inmates.
At a federal penitentiary in Texas, prisoners are locked in their cells on weekends because there are not enough guards to watch them. Elsewhere in the system, fights are breaking out, several inmates have escaped in recent months and, in Illinois, at one of the most understaffed prisons in the country, five . . .