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Photo of the week: Wisconsin DOC celebrates 214 new correctional officers at graduation

Compensation plan, recruitment efforts continue to reduce security staff vacancies


Photo/Anthony Gillitzer

By Corrections1 Staff

This week’s photo comes from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. More than 200 new correctional officers will soon begin work at Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) facilities statewide as efforts to recruit and train security staff gain momentum.

DOC continues to see record-setting numbers of officers graduate from its six-week training academy known as the Facility Staff Training and Support (FSTS) Program. The 214 graduates, who are part of one of the department’s largest classes, were celebrated at a graduation event held Wednesday at Madison College.

“Our staff is the department’s greatest asset and the best tool we have to help the persons in our care rehabilitate and to keep our communities safe,” said DOC Secretary Kevin Carr. “Graduating more than 200 new officers in our latest class is a historic moment for our agency.”

Applications for security staff grew following the passage of a new compensation plan included in Governor Tony Evers’ biennial budget and approved by the State Legislature. The plan set starting pay at $33 per hour for correctional officers. Starting pay can be as high as $41 per hour for some locations and shifts.

The latest influx of staff will further decrease the DOC’s vacancy rate among correctional officers and sergeants, which was as high as 35% in August of 2023. Currently the vacancy rate is 26%, which does not account for the incoming recruits.

The DOC has used walk-in hiring events, social media, television, radio and direct mail advertising to attract job seekers statewide. The November and December graduations each welcomed nearly 150 new recruits. In total, the DOC graduated more than 600 uniformed staff from the eight FSTS academies held in 2023 and is on track to surpass that number in 2024.

Additional staffing data can be found on the DOC’s interactive dashboard.

On behalf of Corrections1, welcome new COs! Stay safe, always keep learning and thanks for serving your state and communities.

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