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Corrections Officers in Short Supply

Cathy Duchamp
05/23/2007

More prisoners. Fewer prison guards. That's the situation across the Northwest, as recruiters try to address a corrections officer shortage. Correspondent Cathy Duchamp has more.

TRANSCRIPT

IT'S A SIGN OF A TIGHT LABOR MARKET. OREGON HAS OPENINGS FOR 250 CORRECTIONS OFFICERS. WASHINGTON STATE HAS CLOSE TO 15-HUNDRED VACANCIES. THAT'S A BIG ORDER TO FILL FOR LORNA OVEDA, THE HEAD PRISON RECRUITER IN WASHINGTON. BUT SHE'S GOT HER SALES PITCH READY.

OVENA: "If you want to try to influence someone's behavior or really want to give back to the community and you have that bent, this is a great place."

YOU CAN MAKE $17.50 AN HOUR AS A BEGINNING CORRECTIONS OFFICER IN WASHINGTON STATE. IN OREGON, THE STARTING WAGE IS $16.00-25.00. THAT'S CREATED PROBLEMS FOR IDAHO. RECRUITER ROBERTA HARTZ SAYS SHE CAN'T MATCH THE BETTER PAY AND FRINGE BENEFITS AT OREGON'S SNAKE RIVER PRISON. IT'S HOUR'S DRIVE WEST OF BOISE.

HARTZ: "Apparently they've even started a bus that helps with the commute that will take their people who live in Idaho to work."

COMPETITION MAY HEAT UP MORE. FOR THE FIRST TIME WASHINGTON PLANS TO ADVERTISE ITS PRISON JOBS IN IDAHO AND OREGON.

© Copyright 2007, KUOW

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