RSW committee considers raises for correctional officers

FRONT ROYAL – The Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail Finance and Personnel Committee met Thursday to discuss implementing merit-based raises for the jail’s correctional officers.

According to jail superintendent William T. Wilson, the jail does not have a merit-based pay adjustment system, and has been losing correctional officers to other law enforcement agencies that do, along with higher starting salaries.

For example, while RSW starts its corrections officers at $33,000 per year, Frederick County starts its officers at $36,800, along with potential for raises.

“A lot of the other jails have a merit increase every so many years for service,” Wilson said. “I would like to see if we could do at least (a) two-year merit increase for those who have been here for two years.”

Doug Stanley, jail authority chairman, said without the raises, there will be a steady bleeding of employees.

“We’re going to constantly lose folks after a couple years of service,” he said.

As of July 1, there are 66 employees at the jail who have been employees for two years or more, according to figures provided at the meeting. While Wilson did not have the exact number of those employees who are correctional officers, he estimated it to be between 55 and 60.

While the raises have obvious costs to the jail, Stanley said denying the raises would incur other, less explicit costs, including spending excess time and resources on training and hiring new employees given the increased turnover.

Following the discussion, the board agreed to bring the matter up for discussion at the full RSW authority board meeting at 2 p.m. Sept. 22. The Finance and Personnel Committee will meet again following the authority board meeting.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or

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Jake Zuckerman