To help address staffing shortages and significantly expand the potential pool of candidates, the minimum age to work as a correctional officer for the Mississippi Department of Corrections has been lowered from 21 to 19.
With approval from the Mississippi State Personnel Board, the department is now seeking the younger applicants.
“High school graduates represent a significant group of individuals entering the workforce,” Human Resource Director Sharon Pepper said. “This provides them a great opportunity to obtain meaningful experience, if they plan to make a career out of corrections and/or law enforcement.”
Interim Commissioner Tommy Taylor said, “We are seeking individuals who want to make corrections a career, and the Mississippi Department of Corrections is a good place to work.”
The younger officers will be assigned to positions considered low risk, with minimum direct contact with inmates. Such positions include working in control rooms and with minimum custody inmates during program activities.
“They will not be permitted to work any maximum security units or any posts that would place them in harm’s way,” said Central Mississippi Correctional Facility Superintendent Ron King, who runs the largest prison in the state. “Additional training will be required, and they will work with an experienced correctional officer during the transition from the academy to assuming their primary responsibilities.”
In addition to the age requirement, applicants also must have a high school diploma or GED and have no felony or domestic violence convictions. Some misdemeanor convictions may disqualify applicants.
The next interview dates are Wednesday, April 8, 2020, and Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Interested applicants can call 601-359-5696 to schedule an appointment between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.