The Alabama Department of Corrections announced on Tuesday an increase in pay and new pay grades for correctional officers statewide, according to a press release from the department.
In the release sent on Tuesday, a department spokesperson wrote that the salary increase and new pay grades represent “an important step in the commissioner’s plan to strengthen the department’s recruiting and retention efforts.”
Correctional staffing levels within the department have seen dramatic decreases over the last few years, with a nearly 20 percent decrease in correctional staffing since the end of September of 2021, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. The chronic under-staffing the department has suffered from was cited by the U.S. Department of Justice as a leading factor in the increased rates of violent incidents and deaths with ADOC facilities.
The new increases in starting salary for correctional offices following the announcement are $55,855 at maximum security facilities, $53,245 at medium security facilities, and $50,712 at work release and community work centers.
Additional steps for pay progressions for current correctional officers will be allowed under the new plan, along with a new promotional classification: Correctional Security Guard Senior.
Expansion of location differentials for medium and maximum-security facilities will now also include support staff in addition to correctional officers.
“While I am proud of our successes so far, they represent the beginning of an ambitious agenda,” ADOC Commissioner John Hamm said in a statement on Tuesday. “Some of the projects we have prioritized, but are not limited to, are building new prison facilities; implementing a modern inmate management system; streamlining the correctional officer hiring, retention, and training processes; and actively supporting the reinstatement of Tier 1 retirement benefits for all employees.”