White River Juvenile Detention Center runs into trouble finding - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

White River Juvenile Detention Center runs into trouble finding guards

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) – Four correctional officers quitwithin a week at a juvenile detention center, sending the facility scramblingto fill the openings.

Word has spread quickly since the ‘help wanted' sign wentup, and that's helped drive up the amount of applications to a record number.

The White River Regional Juvenile Detention Center inBatesville announced this week that it desperately needed four new correctionalofficers. By week's end, two have already been hired, and now the facility hasto comb through about 40 applications to find the other two.

The juvenile detention center currently houses 45 juveniles,ages five to 21. Administrators say the overwhelming majority face drug-relatedcharges, but there's another problem plaguing the facility. It's become harderand harder hiring and then retaining correctional officers.

"A lot of them left due to better opportunities,"Independence County Judge Robert Griffin said. "We've had some businessesincrease employment here – some of course just the general stress of dealingwith the juveniles."

 Griffin says beingdown four correctional officers has affected operations in two ways.

"Either you have people that are working extending hours, oryou borrow from other correctional facilities in order to have sufficientstaff," he said.

The job only requires a high school diploma, a GED and aclean criminal background check; however, administrators say not everyone is cutout for the job.

The officers sometimes have to deal with violence. Severalmonths ago, two juveniles stabbed three guards with make-shift knives during anattempted escape. That incident has not scared away the more than 30 peoplethat have applied this week alone.

"I feel like that in the next week or two, hopefully we'llhave enough applicants she [Administrator Peggy Kendrick] can find the right peoplefor the right place," Griffin said.

Griffin says the county's retirement plan and benefitspackage should attract applicants, too. He says the county's law enforcement committeeis also considering raising hourly wages for part-time and full-time officersto help retain employees. Part-time employees currently make $8.32 an hour,while full-time officers earn $9.69 an hour.

To inquire about the job openings at the White RiverRegional Juvenile Detention Center, call 870-612-6814.

Copyright 2013 KAIT.All rights reserved.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Study will determine cost of possible Cold War museum in Blytheville

    Study will determine cost of possible Cold War museum in Blytheville

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 11:11 PM EDT2018-08-22 03:11:33 GMT
    Tuesday, August 21 2018 11:27 PM EDT2018-08-22 03:27:45 GMT
    Study will determine cost and resources needed to create museum. (Source: KAIT-TV)Study will determine cost and resources needed to create museum. (Source: KAIT-TV)
    Study will determine cost and resources needed to create museum. (Source: KAIT-TV)Study will determine cost and resources needed to create museum. (Source: KAIT-TV)

    A structural design study is bringing the idea of a Cold War museum a little closer to a reality.

    A structural design study is bringing the idea of a Cold War museum a little closer to a reality.

  • City council votes to deed library building to MCLS

    City council votes to deed library building to MCLS

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 10:46 PM EDT2018-08-22 02:46:29 GMT
    Tuesday, August 21 2018 11:05 PM EDT2018-08-22 03:05:20 GMT
    City council passes resolution to deed building to MCLS. (Source: KAIT-TV)City council passes resolution to deed building to MCLS. (Source: KAIT-TV)
    City council passes resolution to deed building to MCLS. (Source: KAIT-TV)City council passes resolution to deed building to MCLS. (Source: KAIT-TV)

    A resolution passed unanimously and now puts a Region 8 public library one step closer to its goal.

    A resolution passed unanimously and now puts a Region 8 public library one step closer to its goal.

  • The Imperial Dinner Theatre making comeback after flood

    The Imperial Dinner Theatre making comeback after flood

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 10:05 PM EDT2018-08-22 02:05:33 GMT
    Tuesday, August 21 2018 10:25 PM EDT2018-08-22 02:25:07 GMT
    Repair work on the Imperial Dinner Theatre in Pocahontas after floods (Source: KAIT)Repair work on the Imperial Dinner Theatre in Pocahontas after floods (Source: KAIT)
    Repair work on the Imperial Dinner Theatre in Pocahontas after floods (Source: KAIT)Repair work on the Imperial Dinner Theatre in Pocahontas after floods (Source: KAIT)

    A Pocahontas theatre that was heavily damaged during the Spring 2017 flood is making a comeback.

    A Pocahontas theatre that was heavily damaged during the Spring 2017 flood is making a comeback.

Powered by Frankly