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Newspaper: 45 prison officers fired for sleeping since 2012

FILE - Forty-five North Carolina prison officers have been fired for sleeping on duty in the last five years. (Photo credit: MGN)

Forty-five North Carolina prison officers have been fired for sleeping on duty in the last five years.

The Charlotte Observer said its investigation shows that the fired officers include those who fell asleep guarding inmates at hospitals, in prison control rooms or vehicles used to watch prison fence lines.

The state's prisons director, Kenneth Lassiter, said guards are expected to stay alert at all times, and if they don't they can face dismissal or other reprimands.

The newspaper says that interviews with current and former prison staff shows that some officers are tired because they work long stretches of overtime. They also say that low pay for prison officers means that many work second jobs, which also contributes to their fatigue.

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