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Finding enough correctional officers a challenge in Wisconsin

Jails facing challenges finding enough staff
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Jails facing challenges finding enough staff

Correction facilities in the badger state are struggling to hire enough staff.

"Being a corrections officer is not an easy job, but I'll tell you what. It's the most important job in a criminal justice system,” said Shawn Becker Wood County Sheriff.

With that being said it's also not easy to hire corrections officers either.

“The biggest thing that we're seeing right now amongst the county jails within the state of Wisconsin is a shortage of staff. That's been happening for quite some time now, and it's been a challenge for each county to try to you know staff their facilities,” said Becker.

The need is getting so bad that applicants are starting the hiring process almost immediately.

Becker said, “We get somebody that applies to work in a jail as a corrections officer, getting that application in immediately we're setting up an interview with them as soon as we can, and moving forward from there the background investigation just trying to stay up on that."

Even some of the area technical colleges have programs for corrections in which they work alongside many county jails to send quality candidates straight to the workforce.

“We're really fortunate here in Wood County where we have Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids that runs a program for corrections and an academy, a five-week academy for your jail certification to work as a corrections officer,” said Becker.

As for the solution, as of now there isn't an exact one, better wages, hours, and opportunities are just some of the things county jails are trying to do to help make the job more attractive to candidates.

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