CONSIDER THIS: Pay for Prison Guards - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

CONSIDER THIS: Pay for Prison Guards

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

The Mississippi Department of Corrections is closing part of a south Mississippi prison because they can't hire enough guards to staff the institution. Commissioner Pelicia Hall said they may have to close other units to make sure the facilities are safe for the staff and inmates.

Although the department is actively recruiting to fill the open positions, more stringent hiring guidelines and low wages make the process more difficult.

Just like many statistics, Mississippi is near the bottom when it comes to paying for correctional officers at around $25,000. That’s compared with a national average of more than $45,000.

People who agree to take on jobs like correctional officers, police and other law enforcement where the responsibilities are far more dangerous, need to receive compensation that reflects the challenging requirements of the job. A better compensation plan would help recruiting efforts, attract more qualified candidates and ultimately lead to better public safety.

The state needs to get off the bottom of many lists, but this one needs to happen quickly and should be a top priority. The safety of the people of Mississippi should not be compromised to save a few bucks.

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