|CHARLESTON, WV — Gov. Justice and the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (WV DCR) announced a major achievement in staffing West Virginia correctional facilities with the graduation of 53 new officers and staff last week.
This milestone comes on the heels of successful recruitment efforts and increased pay scales that have significantly reduced staff vacancies across the state.
In addition to last week’s graduating class, 483 officers and staff graduated from Classes 63 through 77 during calendar year 2023.
The recruiting efforts, including increased pay scales for correctional officers, are paying dividends. Staff vacancies are decreasing in facilities statewide. Most notably, Southern Regional Jail and Correctional Facility in Raleigh County has zero staff vacancies currently, down from a 30% vacancy rate in September 2023. Other facilities with zero vacancies include the Anthony Correctional Center, Charleston Correctional Center, Gene Spadaro Juvenile Center, Lakin Correctional Center, Parkersburg Correctional Center and Tiger Morton Juvenile Center.
“I’m thrilled to see the growing interest in correctional careers in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “By recognizing the value of these positions and taking action to improve pay and benefits, we’re attracting talented individuals who are dedicated to making a positive impact. This graduation is a testament to the collective efforts by many, and we all remain committed to supporting our correctional officers as they build brighter futures for themselves and our communities.”
The rigorous West Virginia Corrections Academy program equips graduates with a comprehensive curriculum, encompassing vital subjects such as Correctional Documentation, the Prison Rape Elimination Act, Emergency Procedures, Interpersonal Communication Skills, Suicide Prevention, Autism Awareness, Trauma-Informed Correctional Care, Scenario-Based Training and various other pertinent classes.
“We are immensely proud of the accomplishments of our Basic Training Class graduates,” said WV DCR Commissioner William Marshall. “Their dedication and determination are to be commended, and we are confident they will uphold the mission of the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.”
For more information about employment opportunities with the WV DCR, go to dcr.wv.gov/careers.