MDOC looking to hire, train more staff - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

MDOC looking to hire, train more staff

MDOC continues to hire and train more dedicated staff members.Source: WLBT MDOC continues to hire and train more dedicated staff members.Source: WLBT
MDOC continues to hire and train more dedicated staff members.Source: WLBT MDOC continues to hire and train more dedicated staff members.Source: WLBT
MDOC continues to hire and train more dedicated staff members.Source: WLBT MDOC continues to hire and train more dedicated staff members.Source: WLBT
MDOC continues to hire and train more dedicated staff members.Source: WLBT MDOC continues to hire and train more dedicated staff members.Source: WLBT
MDOC continues to hire and train more dedicated staff members.Source: WLBT MDOC continues to hire and train more dedicated staff members.Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Mississippi Department of Corrections doesn't shy away from admitting that it takes a dedicated individual to work behind prison walls.

"We know all too well that they are not armed the same way as outside law enforcement for the ones on the street," said MDOC Commissioner Pelicia Hall. "So, they're behind the walls 12 hours at a time with convicted felons every day, and it's a very difficult dangerous position to be in."

Twenty-four new officers graduated in March, but 'We're Hiring' signs are still posted outside the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility.

Senator Willie Simmons serves on the corrections committee and he's heard the staffing concerns.

"They give a lot, and in many cases we're finding they're having to work two jobs," noted Senator Simmons.

A closer look at the job postings online show that the pay for a "correctional officer trainee" is currently just over $24,900. Parole and probation officer trainees start out at more than $3,000, but it turns out that's what it was raised to back in 2016.

"Sometimes I say we're asking too much of them for what we do for them," said Simmons. "We should reward them more in the way of compensation. Make sure they can feel comfortable and they don't have to wear their body out by working two jobs."

The other issue has been getting quality officers hired. That's why hiring procedures were changed in 2015, adding in polygraphs, increasing the minimum age from 18 to 21 and adding to the training.

"We beefed up our training academy to provide a longer training academy to provide them with the necessary tactics that they need to combat situations where they might be put in harm’s way," added Hall.

Five community work centers were closed between 2015 and 2016. The department said that was because of a staffing shortage.

As more evidence of the funding issues, MDOC recently informed sheriffs that 400 state inmates would be removed from regional jails and sent back to state-run prisons. They cited a lack of state funding.

RELATED: Sheriffs face losing state inmates, millions from regional jails

Copyright 2018 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly