PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Florida’s prisons are dealing with a corrections officer crisis, they’re aren’t enough of them.
The Bay County Correctional Facility is offering incentives to fill its open positions.
“It is not just exclusive to the Bay Correctional Facility,” Warden Jesse Williams said. “The field of corrections nationwide has been dealing with that as other entities outside of the field of corrections have been dealing with the problem of staffing throughout our country.”
To combat the problem, Williams said they are offering incentive and pay compensation programs.
“If you are a non-certified, meaning you are not a certified corrections officer we start you off with at $20.50 an hour with a $4,000 sign-on bonus. If you work someplace else or you are already a certified correction officer and you would loved to come work at the Bay Correctional Facility we bring you in at $23.50 an hour starting out with a $5,000 sign-on bonus,” Williams said.
Williams said they are the highest paying facilty in the area,” Williams said.
But it isn’t just about the money, he said he has found the career rewarding.
“You come in here every single day and the offenders that are here, our population runs about 970-985, close to 1,000, if you will, and able to provide therapeutic rehabilitative programming opportunities for these men is rewarding,” Williams said.
The Bay County Correctional Facility is contracted for 98 correctional officers and he said the shortage is more than he’d like.
“We pride ourselves on having an atmosphere that is very healthy for our employees,” Williams said. “We are very proud of some of the culture of caring opportunities that exist for our employees. We do a really great job offering therapeutic rehabilitative programs for offenders.”
The state is considering a plan to activate Florida National guardsmen to fill corrections vacancies.
If you are interested in becoming a correctional officer visit their website to apply or drop into the Bay Correctional Facility and apply in person.