Regional jail in need of officers

FRONT ROYAL – Staff turnover at the regional jail in Warren County remains high but likely no different than at other facilities, its chief says.

The Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail needs to fill 21 vacancies for corrections officers, Superintendent William T. Wilson told members of the RSW Regional Jail Authority’s Finance Committee. Wilson spoke briefly about the vacancies during his report.

“If you follow the other jails across the state, they’re having trouble filling the positions,” Wilson said. “There just doesn’t seem to be people interested in working in corrections.”

The jail has four people in the application process undergoing background checks, Wilson said. The facility also recently received applications from about a half dozen people, the superintendent added.

“Things may be turning around there,” Wilson said. “When I talked to the other jail superintendents they’re all down staff.”

In addition to corrections officers, the jail needs to fill two vacant positions for licensed practical nurses. The jail has a conditional offer to one candidate and are waiting for her to return from out of state to see if she’ll accept, Wilson said. The jail also received an application for a licensed practical nurse on June 16.

The jail has a vacancy for a qualified mental health counselor. Jail officials and representatives with Northwestern Community Services have talked about job qualifications and the mental health agency related some areas that parties need to discuss.

The payroll clerk position also remains vacant.

Jail officials are reviewing proposals submitted by providers of medical, dental and pharmaceutical services. The jail might save money by entering into new contracts, Wilson said after the meeting. The jail also is working with the successful bidder seeking to provide haircuts for inmates. The facility also received a proposal from Cornerstone to upgrade the software for the video camera system for a cost of $35,156.

Also at the meeting, Wilson reported that 14 inmates are participating in the alternative meal program this month during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Several female inmates are participating in Healing from Trauma – a class aimed at the female population to help them deal with abuse or trauma they might have experienced. The jail’s garden also is planted and appears to be doing well, Wilson said.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com