AL Department of Corrections welcomes biggest class of officers in years

Alabama Department of Corrections saw the largest graduating class in years following minimum salary increase for the job.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 7:29 PM CDT
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SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama made a big dent in an ongoing shortage of corrections officers.

67 new officers graduated from the Alabama Criminal Justice Center in Selma on Thursday.

It’s the biggest class since 2019.

After 10 weeks of training, officers graduated in front of friends and family.

They are some of the first to join the ADOC since a salary increase went into effect, something Commissioner John Hamm says is enticing more people to join the force.

“There’s no secret that we have staffing issues, so this provides individuals coming on the department, that they need to protect staff, citizens, and inmates,” said Hamm.

Future officers earned a salary between $50,000 and $55,000, depending on the facility.

Now, graduates will make anywhere from $51,000 to $56,000.

Hamm says the pay increase was needed for this type of work.

“This is not just a job. If you’re just looking for a job, this is not the place for you. It is a job of public service so one, you have to have that mentality. You have to be mentally fit. You have to be physically fit,” said Hamm.

The new graduates now join 1,800 men and women statewide serving as corrections officers.

The ADOC has widened its search for new candidates.

Any high school graduate who is 18 or older can get on the path to becoming a correctional security guard.

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