Md. DOC training next round of ECI correctional officers
SALISBURY, Md. – A classroom full of students will soon be working in an industry that’s been struggling to fill their open positions, the prison system.
“I wanted to be a correctional officer first off because it’s what I’ve seen in my family, I like to help, I want to protect the public and rehabilitate some of the detainees or just have some type of impact,” Katelynn Burton.
Burton, a 21-year-old from Somerset County, is one of twenty students that will soon be a correctional officer at Eastern Correctional Institution following their 8-week course at WorWic Community College.
“We’re in the academy to become a correctional officer to learn all the aspects that we need to to perform our job duties and know all the background from what we may encounter.”
It’s the largest class the Department of Corrections has seen in quite some time, one that they’re welcoming with open arms.
“It’s been a problem and we really ramped up recruiting officers because we know that our officers need as much support as they can get and they are the front lines of our system and we want to give them that support,” explains Gerard Shields, PIO for Maryland’s Dept. of Corrections.
With new incentives, including a $5,000 training bonus, the DOC is hoping to alleviate those staffing issues at ECI.
“What we’re trying to do is eliminate that one in four that have to do the mandatory overtime and if we can get 50 correctional officers in there by the end of May, we hope that will pretty much do that and alleviate the concerns.”
Another CO we spoke to says he’s excited about the benefits and the fact that he can retire in 20 years if he wants to. The DOC is expecting another class of 30 students to start the 8-week training course in January.