LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Across the U.S. prisons and jails are struggling to hire and keep staff.

That’s also true right here in Lexington.

The Fayette County Detention Center is one of the jails coping with difficulties.

Employees at the jail say short staffing at the facility has reached a crisis. This is putting both inmates and exhausted corrections officers at risk. They are currently operating with about 60 percent of the staff on hand.

There are currently more than 100 vacant correctional officer positions at the Fayette County Detention Center out of a total of  278 authorized positions.

“Our director went to the Kentucky jailers association conference last week and that was a hot topic of discussion there too,” Matt LeMonds, commander for the correctional facilities said.

The staff that remains said correctional officers at the detention center are routinely working multiple overtime shifts in a week. Longtime jailers and their families who would not talk on camera said officials have failed to respond to staff shortages that have worsened over the years, leaving their loved ones to miss out on holidays.

“It is something right now that is a stressor for a lot of the staff we do have,’ LeMonds said.

LeMonds said he is aware of the stress that comes with the job. The pressure of covering post and the constant feeling of anxiety when having more duties to work takes a toll. But he said he works with the state to ensure the well-being of every inmate and his staff is taken care of.

“The Department of Corrections with the state has come in and is working with us as far as making sure that we are meeting the level of care required for the inmate population,” LeMonds said.

Staff shortages are not the only concern according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics in county jails overdoses increased by over 200%. LeMonds said the most common drug is fentanyl.

“What makes the drug issue difficult in a jail, is any that is out in the community is going to try and make its way to the facility,’ LeMonds said.

LeMonds said despite the causes and concerns they are working with what they have to provide care, custody, and control to the inmate population.

Anyone who meets the education and age requirements and is looking for work is encouraged to apply for one of the open positions.