The starting rate of pay has increased by 24% over the past four years. Additionally, a new officer who works an extra shift per week can now earn $ 46,800 per year, Pojmann said.
Staff members also receive an automatic 1% salary increase for every two years of service up to 20 years.
The department said the additional investment was starting to pay off.
“This summer, we have seen a gradual improvement in our workforce; we hire new staff faster than we lose staff through retirement, relocation or resignation, ”said Pojmann.
The department, which operates 20 prisons across Missouri, has also seen an increase in new requests since the pay rise took effect.
During the week of August 15, Pojmann said there was a 20% increase in weekly applications for correctional officer positions from the week of June 15.
And, at the agency’s central region training center, the department had to split a new training class into two sections because the incoming class was “unusually large.”
Nonetheless, Pojmann said the personnel issues remain “serious”.
At Vandalia Women’s Prison in northeast Missouri, the department closed part of the facility to deal with declining numbers of inmates and a chronic inability to fill jobs.