The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) continues to push recent pay raises and benefits, offering a series of statewide hiring events to address the dwindling supply of corrections officers and prison staff.

For years, ADOC has struggled to maintain recruitment numbers in Alabama prisons. The overcrowded nature of state prisons, combined with a lack of sufficient staff, has proven to have deleterious effects on prison conditions and security.

Earlier this year, ADOC increased the starting pay for corrections officers by $12,000-15,000, depending on the level of academy training and the security level of the prison. The raises seem to bring slight improvement, as ADOC was recently able to halt the years-long trend of net losses in prison staff in May.

Through the month of January, ADOC will host 10 hiring events in various cities across the state. Declaring "a new day at the ADOC," the agency boasted a starting salary of $51,700 for correctional officer trainees.

The process involves drug testing, fingerprinting, personnel interviews and a physical assessment.

Correctional officer trainees are required to take the physical fitness and psychiatric evaluation, while correctional security guards are not.

The recent recruiting efforts and new prison construction are all related attempts to address many complaints against ADOC in a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit.

In 2019, the DOJ filed suit against the State of Alabama, alleging that conditions in Alabama's prisons constitute "cruel and unusual punishment" banned by the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The complaint, filed by the Trump administration, cites chronic understaffing, high violence rates (including deaths and sexual assault), inadequate mental and drug treatment programs, and the dilapidated conditions of prison facilities.

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