Independence Co. sheriff pushes for jailer pay increase

Independence Co. sheriff pushes for jailer pay increase

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The Independence County Jail is expected to lose 7 jailers and is in need of a new staff.

The Independence County Jail deals with a high turnover rate and the sheriff's department is seeking a new way to attract new employees and keep existing ones.

The Independence County Sheriff Steve Jeffery said that is why he is pushing for a pay increase for county jailers.

According to the 2015 jail salaries, new jailers currently make $20,164 a year and can make $22,164 after 3 years of work.

The same list shows an incoming jail food service worker begins with a salary of $23,647.

At a Quorum Court meeting between the budget and law enforcement committees, Sheriff Jeffery requested to pay new hires $22,164 annually and to move current employees to the highest salary step.

He said he's encountered some problems with potential candidates when it comes to pay.

County Judge Robert Griffin said the jail is also dealing with some overcrowding issues as well and the sheriff may have to reduce prisoner intake if the staffing issue is not corrected.

Judge Griffin also said Governor Asa Hutchinson is working to help the jail with past and current financial issues.

"He is working towards trying to find a solution, not just with the monies that were due from the previous years, but also to look forward and try to help alleviate some of these problems," Griffin said. 

Sheriff Jeffery said he doesn't anticipate the jail to shut down anytime soon. 

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