With prison staff shortage, Oklahoma looks to hire teenagers as guards

 

December 6, 2019



Teenagers, fresh out of high school, could be hired to guard and oversee hardened criminals in Oklahoma’s chronically overcrowded and understaffed prisons.

In a little-noticed action, the Oklahoma Board of Corrections passed a set of legislative requests earlier this month that include allowing prisons to hire corrections officials as young as 18. Currently the minimum age is 20.

The Department of Correction has struggled for years to attract and retain workers for the job, which now starts with a salary of just under $33,000 a year.

Despite a $2-per-hour raise passed earlier this yea...



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