Hundreds of new correctional officers have been hired in the Mountain State since Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) proposed pay raises in March. Those raises were passed by the West Virginia Legislature and go into effect on July 1, 2018.
According to officials with the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety (DMAPS), 730 correctional officers have been hired. That has reduced the number of vacancies by 67 percent since March 6.
The pay raises benefit new hires and existing employees. They are for both officers and non-uniform staff at the Division of Corrections, the Regional Jail Authority and the Division of Juvenile Services (DJS). Salary increases are $2,000 a year for 2018, 2019 and 2020.
There are 231 new officers at the prison system, 410 at the regional jails and 80 at Juvenile Services. That has reduced vacancies at corrections to less than 200, less than 125 at the jails and 68 at the DJS.
“The fellowship and the teamwork that happens at Military Affairs and Public Safety is second to none,” said DMAPS Secretary Jeff Sandy. “I’ve never seen this at such at hight level during my 38 years of public service.”
The correctional employees are also receiving raises approved for teachers, state troopers and other state employees. They will remain in place when the three DMAPS agencies consolidate on July 1 into the unified Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.