ATLANTA (AP) — A newspaper reports that Georgia's prison system failed to properly pay overtime to more than 1,200 corrections officers.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the failure by the Georgia Department of Corrections violated federal labor laws.

The U.S. Department of Labor said last year that nearly 400 corrections employees worked hours without pay at three Georgia state prisons. The newspaper reported a statewide audit found problems affected as many as 20 percent of the system's officers.

The prison system said the underpayments occurred because prison officials misinterpreted a state agency rule that officers may work no more than 12 hours on an overtime shift.

The department said in a statement that there was never a deliberate attempt to shortchange its workers.

The affected officers have received back pay of nearly $380,000.

___

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com