CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s House has voted unanimously to raise the salaries of jail and prison guards by $6,000 over three years in an effort to fill hundreds of vacancies and reduce turnover.
Corrections officials in August said low pay remained a fundamental problem despite a $1 an hour increase added by Gov. Jim Justice’s administration that raised starting pay to $11.87 an hour or $24,664 a year.
The $2,000 annual raises backed by the governor would begin with the new state fiscal year on July 1.
House Finance Committee Chairman Eric Nelson says those raises apply to staff who have direct contact with inmates.
Delegate Tom Fast, a Fayetteville Republican, says the state pays $15,000 to train correction officers and about half currently leave within the first year and a half.