Shortage of officers at state prisons Mount Olive - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Shortage of officers at state prisons in WV

Posted: Updated:
Officers patrol the grounds at Mount Olive Officers patrol the grounds at Mount Olive
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Lanes open after massive truck fire in tunnel shuts down highway

    Lanes open after massive truck fire in tunnel shuts down highway

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:20:37 GMT
    Burned truck is pulled out of the tunnelBurned truck is pulled out of the tunnel
    The southbound lanes of the East River Mountain Tunnel on I-77 opened just after 10 pm Friday night. Crews on the scene said two firefighters are in the hospital being treated for smoke inhalation. 
    The southbound lanes of the East River Mountain Tunnel on I-77 opened just after 10 pm Friday night. Crews on the scene said two firefighters are in the hospital being treated for smoke inhalation. 
  • Hurricane, WV man orders most expensive Starbucks drink ever

    Hurricane, WV man orders most expensive Starbucks drink ever

    Friday, July 25 2014 2:39 PM EDT2014-07-25 18:39:54 GMT
    After nearly two hours and 77-shots of espresso, one man received the most expensive drink Starbucks has ever sold.
    After nearly two hours and 77-shots of espresso, one man received the most expensive drink Starbucks has ever sold.
  • One person shot and killed following argument in Huntington

    One person shot and killed following argument in Huntington

    Saturday, July 26 2014 4:28 AM EDT2014-07-26 08:28:18 GMT
    MGN OnlineMGN Online
    Huntington Police were called to the scene of a reported brandishing of a weapon along the 2000 block of 3rd ave just before 12:30 am Saturday. After police arrived and nothing was found following a search of the area.Around 1:30 am Huntington police and the West Virginia State State Police were called to a second reported brandishing call at the El Ranchito Mexican Bar and Grill along the 2000 block of 3rd Ave.After police arrived officers discovered several people arguing, officers noticed ...
    Huntington Police were called to the scene of a reported brandishing of a weapon along the 2000 block of 3rd ave just before 12:30 am Saturday. After police arrived and nothing was found following a search of the area.Around 1:30 am Huntington police and the West Virginia State State Police were called to a second reported brandishing call at the El Ranchito Mexican Bar and Grill along the 2000 block of 3rd Ave.After police arrived officers discovered several people arguing, officers noticed ...
Mount Olive, WV -

Mount Olive Correctional Complex is West Virginia's only maximum security prison.  It is also one of the most understaffed prisons in the state.  

"With our rural location and the nature of the inmates we hold, we have trouble recruiting and retaining officers," said David Ballard, the warden at Mount Olive Correctional Complex.  

The prison has about 180 correctional officers, but it needs more than 50 to be fully staffed. Ballard says the stressful nature of the job is exacerbated by 60 hour work weeks and little pay.  Other prisons in the state also suffer from staff shortages.  

"13 to 14 hours a day I am gone from my family, and sometimes for eight to ten days in a row," said Ami Hedrick, a correctional officer.  

Despite the difficult nature of the job, many women have joined the ranks of this law enforcement profession.  At Mount Olive, at least 20 percent of correctional officers are female.  

"We all go through life searching for something that we feel comfortable doing and that we are good at, and I think I've found that," said Hedrick.  

Like any job in law enforcement, challenges also come with rewards. Ballard said that many of the inmates never had a decent home life, and most officers believe it is their responsibility to help the inmates acclimate themselves with the rest of society.

To find out how to apply for a job at the Division of Corrections, you can visit their website: http://www.wvdoc.com/wvdoc/CareersInCorrections/tabid/63/Default.aspx