On Tuesday, the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) announced pay increases for the state's correctional officers.

The announcement comes as the State of Alabama faces scrutiny from the federal government for alleged Eighth Amendment violations.

According to an Associated Press report, the agency has lost more than 500 correctional officers over the last 18 months despite a mandate from U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson to show improvements in that area.

The announcement revealed the ADOC has been working with the state personnel department and Gov. Kay Ivey's office to overhaul the salaries paid to existing and prospective employees in ADOC's Correctional Officer classification series.

Successful initiatives so far include:

  1. Increase in starting salary for correctional officer trainees: $55,855 at maximum security facilities, $53,245 at medium security facilities $50,712 at work release/community work centers

  2. Pay grade/salary increases for current correctional officers: The new pay grades will allow additional steps for pay progression.

  3. New promotional classification established for senior security guards.

  4. Expanded location differentials for medium and maximum-security facilities now includes support staff in addition to correctional officers.

"While I am proud of our successes so far, they represent the beginning of an ambitious agenda," ADOC Commissioner John Hamm said. "Some of the projects we have prioritized but are not limited to are building new prison facilities; implementing a modern inmate management system; streamlining the correctional officer hiring, retention, and training processes; and actively supporting the reinstatement of Tier 1 retirement benefits for all employees."

Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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