BRUCETON MILLS, W.Va. (WBOY) — Amid extreme staff shortages at Federal Corrections Center Hazelton in Preston County, yet another legislator is asking the Bureau of Prisons Director Colette Peters to approve a bonus for all staff.
In a letter on Tuesday, Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV), who represents West Virginia’s 2nd congressional district, Mooney asked for the 25% retention bonus for all FCC Hazelton employees that was proposed by Gov. Jim Justice be approved.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) sent a similar letter last week, saying that “The dire staffing shortage has created a volatile situation threatening staff and inmates alike,” and pointing out that non-corrections officer staff members are being forced to do CO work amid the shortages.
Both Manchin and Mooney reiterated in their letters that there have been more than 100 vacant positions at the correctional center since the beginning of the year.
Mooney also said because new staff are often overworked, they often transfer to other prisons quickly.
“While we need to do more to improve recruitment and retention of correctional officers, the 25 percent retention bonus is a good step,” Mooney said in his letter.
The BOP already has waived the maximum entry age for COs at Hazelton, allowing new COs to apply up until the age of 40 to help combat the staff shortage.