The Mississippi Department of Corrections recruitment personnel is manning a booth at the Trade Mart during the 12 days of the Mississippi State Fair. The representatives are available from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. On the two Sundays, they will be available from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said that having personnel attend the fair is part of a strategy to increase the number of correctional officers and other support staff during a significant shortage.
“We have a critical shortage of correctional officers so we’re casting a wider net to reach as many people as we can,” Commissioner Hall said. “We also have other positions to fill such as probation and parole officers, teachers, counselors, and investigators. While you’re enjoying the sights and sounds of the state fair, I encourage you to visit with one of our recruiters, if you are looking for a new career.”
MDOC recruited at the fair years ago with some success.
“The fair will give us an opportunity to meet with the public one-on-one, greet people with a smile and handshake, and tell them about hiring opportunities,” said MDOC Personnel Services Supervisor Albert Reynolds.
An estimated 670,000 people are expected to attend this year’s fair and the diversity of the crowds can benefit the MDOC’s recruitment efforts.
“We know that people from all over the state attend the fair,” Reynolds said. “This may include people looking for a job or a change in career. Some people may not be looking, but are open to new ideas. The Department of Corrections is a place to consider starting a new career.”
Individuals must meet three criteria to be considered for employment with the MDOC. They must have no felony or domestic violence charge, pass a background check and be at least 21 years old.
Academy training is now four weeks Monday-Friday with no overnight requirement and is at either of the three state prisons. Previously, training was eight weeks only at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman (MSP).
The next interview and screening day is this Saturday at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF), MSP, and South Mississippi Correctional Institution (SMCI) beginning at 8:30 a.m.