ODOC Facing Correctional Officer Shortage
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Department of Corrections said it needs 600 cadets, and that doesn't include current corrections officers.
The DOC said the number of empty officers' positions is actually much higher.
it's vital for the DOC to get more corrections officers hired because the shortage is causing statewide problems with prison security, monitoring visitation times for inmates and even helping with medication, officials said.
Right now the agency is actively trying to recruit new cadets. They said competing businesses make that difficult, especially the oil industry, which offers better pay overall.One of the biggest hiring incentives this time around is more money. New officers hired right now will see a two dollar pay raise from previous years.
"$13.74 and hour is what we were starting correctional officers at. You can make more than that working at a gas station. We bumped that up thanks to the legislature and our Governor, and that is a huge increase," said Matt Elliott, Public information manager for the DOC.
The DOC said he doesn't want people to have any "illusions" about a correctional job at the department, and that there is a lot of hard work that is put into it. But he also said it's an important one, that keeps the public safe.