Jailer pay on the table
Published 2:51 am Monday, June 26, 2006
By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER – Managing Editor
Escambia County commissioners will determine this week whether correctional officers will receive a pay raise, a recommendation made by Sheriff Grover Smith.
A correctional officer's main duty is to maintain order and discipline over jail inmates and individuals awaiting trial.
Smith said the pay scale change is necessary to “acquire and attain good people.”
County Administrator Tony Sanks said correctional officers currently earn $8.62 per hour, which is the starting pay.
Smith asked county commissioners to start correctional officers at $9 per hour with a move to $9.50 per hour after six months of employment.
Smith was out of town Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.
But Sanks said he feels certain commissioners would grant the request.
However, the biggest concern discussed last week was with the U.S. Marshal's office, which needed confirmation the county jail would continue to house federal inmates since the federal inmate housing revenues will be used to fund the pay scale changes.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, correctional officers and jailers in Alabama receive a mean hourly wage of $13.86, or a mean annual wage or salary of $28,830.
The hourly 10th percentile wage is $8.83 while the 90th percentile wage is $20. Correctional officers in Brewton fall under the 10th percentile.
Correctional officers in Decatur receive an hourly wage of $13.99, earning them $29,110 per year.
They also fall under the hourly 50th percentile wage, which is the median wage.
In Plainfield, Ind., 20 correctional officer positions were being advertised recently with a minimum annual salary set at $17,732.
That would be less than the recommended salary increase for Escambia jailers, assuming a 40-hour work week.
A decision on the pay raise will be made at the next county meeting set for June 26.