Report says Ariz. DOC paid $40M in overtime amid staffing crisis

62% of overtime paid out by the state in 2017 and 2018 came from the Department of Corrections

By CorrectionsOne Staff

PHOENIX — According to Arizona’s financial data report, 62 percent of all overtime paid out by the state in 2017 and 2018 came from the Department of Corrections.

According to 12 News, more than $40 million was spent on overtime - more than all other state agencies combined.

There are currently 1,211 open corrections officers positions available, leaving nearly a fifth of positions in the corrections department unfilled. The DOC is dealing with fallout from reported assaults on officers stemming from locks on cell doors not working properly.

With the shortage, officers have to work long hours that can bring stress and difficulties. In a “best case” scenario, officers are outnumbered by inmates 50 to one, Corrections Officer Clinton Roberts told 12 News.

Retention is a major issue within the department. Although a new class of officers graduate about every two weeks, officers are leaving as quickly as they’re joining.

A new state budget proposal includes a 10% pay raise, which is expected provide some relief with the shortage. 

"The Department expects that additional compensation for our officers will have a positive effect on the agency’s ability to hire and, more importantly, retain, correctional officers," the DOC said.

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