Virginia prisons seek to boost salaries amid staffing crisis

(Julia Rendleman/ For the Virginia Mercury)
Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 6:57 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia prison officials say they are experiencing a severe staffing crisis. They’re seeking to increase starting salaries by about 25% in an attempt to recruit and retain correctional officers.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Department of Corrections says it is facing a shortage of more than 1,600 correctional officers.

They say the staff shortage jeopardizes security and safety for inmate, staff and the public. The COVID-19 pandemic, enhanced unemployment benefits, non-competitive salaries and the availability of less-demanding jobs have exacerbated the difficult job of recruiting officers.

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