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Virginia prisons seek to boost salaries amid staffing crisis

Posted at 12:35 PM, Sep 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-18 12:35:49-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia prison officials say they are experiencing a severe staffing crisis.

They're seeking to increase starting salaries by about 25% in an attempt to recruit and retain correctional officers.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Department of Corrections says it is facing a shortage of more than 1,600 correctional officers.

They say the staff shortage jeopardizes security and safety for inmate, staff and the public.

The COVID-19 pandemic, enhanced unemployment benefits, non-competitive salaries and the availability of less-demanding jobs have exacerbated the difficult job of recruiting officers.