Kansas lawmakers in both parties are calling for higher pay for the state’s corrections officers after several recent incidents at the El Dorado Correctional Facility.
Rep. Jim Ward of Wichita is among Democratic legislators urging the Brownback administration to raise salaries for its prison workers by 10 percent. He joined Reps. Jeff Pittman and Debbie Deere at a press conference outside of Lansing Prison, where Deere says the turnover rate for officers is 37 percent.
“Our corrections staff need more pay," she says. "We have to be able to compete with those other places in the job market to recruit people in.”
Starting pay for corrections officers in Kansas is $29,000 dollars—under the national average.
The AP reports Republican Rep. J.R. Claeys, who has already proposed a 20 percent raise for prison officers, is calling for a special legislative session this fall to increase officer pay. He says staffing shortages at state prisons are putting staff members at risk.
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