Understaffed Alabama prisons adding 70 correctional officers


Seventy correctional officers will graduate from the Alabama Department of Corrections training academy in Selma on Thursday. (Photo from Alabama Dept. of Corrections)


The Alabama Department of Corrections announced that 70 correctional officers will graduate from the training academy in Selma on Thursday.

New officers are needed because the ADOC has a staff shortage, with only about one-third the number needed in the state’s prisons.

Last week, the ADOC announced the first class of basic correctional officers had finished training and were being assigned to prisons. The basic correctional officers have a shorter training period than correctional officers. ADOC created the position to get officers on the job more quickly.

The ADOC has increased pay and incentive bonuses to recruit and retain more officers.

The U.S. Department of Justice cited the severe staffing shortage when it alleged in April that conditions in Alabama’s men’s prisons violate the Constitution because of the level of violence, weapons, drugs, corruption and other problems.

The ADOC is under a federal court order to add about 2,000 officers over the next few years as part of a federal lawsuit over mental health care for inmates.