A Nebraska prison guard falls asleep only to wake up and find inmates holding his keys.

That stunning scenario part of the latest look inside what is described as the state's still overcrowded and understaffed prisons that finds workers now fearing for their safety.

That's the long and short of a new 144 page report from the state's chief corrections investigator.

According to the Office of Inspector General, the crisis— now in its sixth year—has grown "alarmingly worse."

Despite paying $10,000-to-15,000 signing bonuses, prison workers are said to be in a "mass exodus."

The report notes that maximum security units go unattended for hours, with staff reporting emotional breakdowns on the drive home.

Other workers, who were on the job through deadly riots, say this is the first time they have felt unsafe.

The investigation says staffers put in long hours, sometimes 24 hours straight or back-to-back 16 hour days for weeks on end.

The report will be the subject of a meeting by key lawmakers in Lincoln today.