$22 in `22

BarNone supports an increase in base pay for correctional officers to $22 an hour.

It is imperative that we begin to recruit the best candidates for the job. It is imperative that we retain the best candidates for the job. Highly qualified and fairly compensated people will ensure proper staffing, making prisons safer, and also be better able to assist in the rehabilitation of those who are incarcerated. All of this leads to reduced recidivism, safer facilities, less trauma, and overall savings to the taxpayer.

An increase in pay may result in an additional $15 million in corrections spending according to some estimates. This year’s corrections budget is roughly $312 million. That’s a 4.8% increase. That would put corrections on an estimated budget increase this year of 5.0% overall, for a total of $328.3 million for FY 2022.

We call this a win-win-win. Staff win. People who are incarcerated win. The public wins.

Correctional officers work in a high-stress and potentially dangerous environment. A staff member was assaulted in the last few weeks. A correctional lieutenant pleads “The situation is incredibly dire, and I am sending this email as a plea for help!” “I’m asking for your help in resolving this problem before it becomes a tragedy and someone gets hurt,” another Department of Correction staff member said. “Be it an inmate or staff member, because there was not enough officers on duty to stop a fight or an escape attempt.”

Please contact your legislator and let them know that you support an increase in correctional officer pay. This increase is imperative to public safety, prisoner safety, and rehabilitation.

Follow the link to find out who your legislator is and how to reach out to them: https://legislature.idaho.gov/legislators/whosmylegislator/