© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

A study on prisons finds turnover high

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Missouri corrections officials say a national report on prison safety reflects some of their main concerns.

The study by the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons found retaining a qualified workforce is essential to maintaining order.

The Missouri Department of Corrections experiences a high staff turnover rate especially in the first two years of employment.

Spokeswoman Wanda Seeney says better pay makes a difference:

"It costs so much more to retrain new staff, so we'd like to retain those that we already do have," Seeney said. "And we were very proud when the governor supported our staff by employing an eight percent pay raise for nurses and corrections officers."

Overcrowding is also a key concern. Seeney says the state is planning to build a new women's prison in Chillicothe that will almost double current capacity.