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Miss. Correction Officer Salaries Lowest in the Country

JACKSON, Miss.–Salaries for Mississippi correction officers that run the prisons and interact with prisoners every day are the lowest in the country.

That fact came up from Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps in a Corrections and Criminal Justice Task Force meeting on Wednesday at the capital.

“I’m hopeful, it’s important that happens,” said Epps when asked if he thought money would be allocated to the DOC in the next legislative session to raise salaries. “There’s 92 percent male inmates and we have 64 percent female officers.”

He said the salary, which is $10.54 per hour, is why more men aren’t applying for the job.

“It’s a serious problem,” he said about having that many females in the prisons.

Females are not allowed to strip search a male inmate and Epps said there have been instances of the inmates and female officers fraternizing.

“And so ultimately they end up arresting the staff,” he said. “If we can get the staff a decent salary compared to other states surrounding us I think that will cut a lot of those problems out and they’ll be more males.”

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