Prisons Statewide Aim to Increase Staffing Shortage - KXXV Central Texas News Now


Prisons Statewide Aim to Increase Staffing Shortage

MARLIN, TX (KXXV) - The Texas Department of Criminal Justice held a closed door hiring seminar in Marlin Thursday, in hopes of fixing the shortage of correctional officers throughout the state.

Some state prisons are having their officers work forced overtime to deal with staff shortages, but that is not happening in our area.

TDCJ is offering a $4,000 signing bonus to applicants that go to certain facilities in South and West Texas. That bonus is not being offered in prison in our area, but there is still a high need for correctional officers.

TDCJ doesn't release the exact numbers for specific units for safety reasons, but out of 25,000 positions for correctional officers statewide, 3,500 of them are open.

Warden Vikki Wright who supervises the Hobby Unit and Marlin Unit said her units are not fully staffed, but they are still able to do essential tasks to keep everyone safe. Officers are working overtime or being moved from non-critical positions to critical ones.

Wright said a booming economy and a fear of the unknown may contribute to the vacancies.

"They are afraid because of the clients we have here and we go through spurts of probably some chaotic times, but most of the times is business as usual," said Wright.

Wright says correctional officers usually get inmates to their jobs, their schools and activities. She has been working to fill the vacancies since she started in August. One goal has been increasing the number of hiring events, including job fairs.

This is the first hiring seminar held in Marlin since Wright started. About two dozen people showed up Thursday, but TDCJ plans to host another in January.

If you are interested in becoming a correctional officer, you can visit

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