CMCF to add 52 officers with today’s graduation

Christopher Epps

The Mississippi Link Newswire

Christopher Epps

JACKSON – Today’s academy graduation at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County will add more correctional officers than usual per class at the prison.

The class of 52 officers is the last in 2013 for the facility and the largest one for that year.  The graduation will begin at 11 a.m. in the Quick Bed Visitation Center. The speaker will be Michael White, CMCF superintendent since Dec. 1.
Today’s class has 38 females and 14 males, some of whom have a law enforcement background.
“We are always looking for good officers,” Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Christopher B. Epps said. “MDOC not only offers you a job but also a career. I’m hoping that we can soon offer higher starting pay.”
Increasing the $22,005 annual starting salary for a correctional officer is a priority for Epps. With higher wages, MDOC likely can attract more male correctional officers and obtain a male-female officer inmate ratio comparable to contiguous states, he said.
“Our wages are lower than the surrounding states, and as a result, the pay has led to MDOC having a staff of 64 percent female correctional officers providing security, custody and control to a 92 percent male inmate population,” Epps said.  “These female officers are doing a commendable job every day, but we need more male officers for security reasons, especially to strip search male inmates, and to bring the male correctional staff vs. male inmate ratio to the proper ratio level.”
 
To become a correctional officer, candidates must be 18 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, have completed high school or an accredited GED program, and have no felony or domestic violence conviction.
Persons interested in becoming a correctional officer can contact MDOC’s Personnel Services at (601) 359-5696 or CMCF at (601) 932-2880, ext. 6701.
CMCF and the other two state prisons, Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman (MSP) and South Mississippi Correctional Institution (SMCI), each holds three weeks of basic training classes every month, based on need.
CMCF’s next basic academy class, which will be the first for 2014, is set to start Jan. 16. Twenty-five applicants have been accepted.