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Staff Recruitment/Work Force Issues

NCJ Number
Corrections Compendium Volume: 31 Issue: 3 Dated: May/June 2006 Pages: 15-32
Cece Hill
Date Published
May 2006
18 pages
Findings on correctional staff recruitment and work force issues from a survey of 45 U.S. correctional systems address recruitment procedures, the recruitment of minorities, educational requirements, wages and benefits, and turnover rates.
Recruitment problems reported involved either the failure to compete monetarily with law enforcement agencies or the location of correctional facilities in rural areas. Low unemployment rates in some States were also a major factor in finding qualified applicants. With the exception of five correctional systems, all make an effort to recruit minorities, primarily from the Black and Hispanic populations. Recruitment methods include the use of job fairs, advertisements in predominantly minority publications, and recruitment from historically Black colleges and universities. All but five respondents indicated a minimum education requirement of a high school diploma or GED for employment. For the five respondents without such a requirement, a candidate's experience and testing were used in determining qualifications. Wages and benefits for the responding agencies are listed. Information is also provided on cost-of-living increases, merit increases, paid holidays, paid vacations, paid sick days, paid personal days, retirement pay, health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, and disability pay. For employees who have completed their first year of employment, the average turnover rates range from 1 percent in Massachusetts to 1.3 percent in Washington State, to 3 percent in Connecticut and Hawaii, and 3.6 percent in Rhode Island. Systems' methods for retaining employees are presented. 6 tables