Mo. prisons struggle with CO shortage
Anne Precythe, Director of the Missouri DOC, said pay is a major factor in the state’s inability to hire and retain more COs
By CorrectionsOne Staff
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — Prisons across Missouri are struggling to staff their facilities.
MissouriNet reports that Anne Precythe, Director of the Missouri DOC, said the state is short 500 officers among its 22 facilities. The DOC currently holds 34,000 offenders. She said that pay is a major factor in the state’s inability to hire and retain more COs.
“We have such a compression issue right now,” says Precythe. “I have correctional officers that have been working nine, ten, twelve years and they’re making the same thing that somebody who comes in right off the street. That’s terrible.”
The department is also severely short of probation and parole assistants. The department is offering a one-time $250 incentive to current employees who refer new employees that end up completing basic training.
The state is working to find ways to turn around the problem. Precythe said if the state were to reduce the prison population, staffing would be more manageable, and the quality of work among COs would be better.