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Correctional Officers: Strategies to Improve Retention

NCJ Number
Carl Nink
Date Published
January 2010
25 pages
This report presents strategies in several areas in an effort to help improve the retention of correctional officers.
Correctional officer turnover remains high, and the cost of replacing these critical employees is growing. This report explores issues impacting correctional agencies and companies, such as changing workforce demands, a dynamic labor market, predictors of turnover, and various reasons for why officers leave their position. After an examination of the corrections environment, retention strategies are presented focusing on the areas of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, applicant screening, new employee orientation, supervisory relations, work environment, training and development, and salary and benefits. Those who have responsibility for controlling costs and improving operational efficiency need to know that they can positively affect retention. Identifying and implementing key practices, within the control of supervisors and managers, will improve the work environment. Surveying staff and taking action to improve working conditions will likely have a positive impact on retention. Tables, appendix, endnotes, and resources