Department of Corrections officials are searching for creative ways to cover guard shifts at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge while seeking to fill 65 openings for correctional officers.

Corrections Director Mike Batista says guards have been working mandatory double shifts and are being called in on their days off. In May, the prison eliminated two days of visitation due to a lack of staffing.

Last week, Warden Leroy Kirkegard sent a memo to prison employees acknowledging the staffing issue and thanking employees for maintaining safe conditions. He assured staffers that prison leadership is working on it.

MEA-MFT President Eric Feaver says fatigue is becoming an issue.

Batista says the agency is going to attend job fairs and make better use of social media in its recruiting efforts. He says some people get great satisfaction from corrections work.