Jailers Can Expect A Raise - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/14/08 - Nacogdoches

Jailers Can Expect A Raise

by Donna McCollum

Nacogdoches County jailers will eventually get a long overdue raise. This after last month's long overdue comp time payoff.   Judge Joe English explained, " The only reason we are actually about to do that today is because of the savings that we've saved in not housing inmates outside our county. "

Today 199 inmates are in jail, compared to last year's 292 inmates. No one is in another jail, compared to at least 36 housed in other counties last year.   English said, " It's costing Nacogdoches County about $200,000 a year to house inmates outside the county. And so with the savings without having to house inmates outside the county, we're able to roll that back into the county. " Aside from salaries, the money is directed software improvements to speed up the judicial process. Just one suggestion brought forth by a voluntary justice department assessment.   English noted,  "Getting information from the sheriff's office to the county attorney's office and that's one area where we are really lacking on and that was also part, I think, number 8 of the justice department suggestions. "

There are many areas where the money can be spent. Sheriff Thomas Kerss is pleased the jailers will see it first.    " The backbone of every agency is the employee and that's the person that's actually there on the front line carrying out the duties day in and day out,"  said kerss. The stair step raise is designed to recruit and retain jailers. The raise will bring the top annual salary from $24,000 to $29,000 for a jailer who stays at least two years. The salary is closer in line with competing regional counties, but still under the state average.

The pay isn't the only reason why it's difficult to recruit and keep jailers. You can't pay some people enough to do the job which involves many risks. Also there isn't a large pool of potential employees. The county's unemployment rate is at an all time low.

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