Area prisons offering bonus for new hire prison guards - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Area prisons offering bonus for new hire prison guards

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Prisons across Texas are in need of prison guards and now two in our area are offering an incentive for new hires.

Dalhart and Pampa are now offering bonuses of $4,000 for new hire prison guards.

Both prisons are seeing a staffing shortage as they compete with the oil and gas industry for workers.

Warden Norvel Arnold says the staff is in need of additional help. "So we are 61 officers short. So we are in a critical need for officers. We work overtime every shift. We run 3 shifts a day. We are currently on 8 hour shifts but most of our officers will work 12 hours a day just to cover the space that we need for officers"

The Chief of Classifications, Gary Messer, says warden and the assistant warden both say this career has a lot of opportunity for advancement, as they both started out as corrections officers. "I don't think that any organization has what we have to offer as far as advancement  opportunities and salary advancements. They just need to come in and check it out."

Dalhart even has a training academy in town that starts classes on May 1st.

People can attend in town rather than going away for training.

"You know single moms and stuff, they can not go away and be gone for 5 and a half weeks. The training is five and a half weeks. So having a unit based academy here plus the 4,000 dollars. It is a great incentive to come to work here." The warden says they already have 4 new hires as a result of the new bonus and he says they anticipate hiring a lot more.

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