State officials plan to set up a booth at the Iowa State Fair to recruit people to work in Iowa’s prison system. Iowa Department of Corrections director Beth Skinner recently hired a recruitment and retention officer for the prison system.
“We’re trying to be creative. We’re trying to get out there. We’re still doing job fairs,” Skinner said. “We’re doing internship programs with colleges, so we’re still keeping our foot on the gas, but it has still been a major challenge.”
Skinner told the Iowa Board of Corrections last week that she’s currently focused on recruiting efforts at the high school and college level.
“It’s a career. You’re a public servant, you know, you’re giving back to your communities,” Skinner said. “It’s public safety.”
The agency had just over 300 vacancies at the end of April and 71% of them were for correctional officers. The department’s website shows the starting salary for a full-time correctional officer is at least 43-thousand dollars a year.
Skinner told the Iowa Board of Corrections the agency was making progress system-wide in hiring nurses and the Newton prison, for example, had no job openings for nurses last Friday.