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Department of Corrections offering $10K bonus for new Minnesota corrections officers

Minn. DOC hopes $10,000 sign-on bonus will help bolster ranks
Minn. DOC hopes $10,000 sign-on bonus will help bolster ranks 02:19

STILLWATER, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Corrections is offering a sign-on bonus of $10,000 to recruit new corrections officers for facilities in Stillwater, Rush City and Oak Park Heights.

The bonus would be only for C.O.s at those three locations and will apply for recruits signing on in September in October. The DOC says the bonus will be split between two years.

The offer comes as Oak Park Heights deals with a 20-percent shortage of corrections officers – prison staff who ensure safety in every aspect of the penitentiary.

Veteran corrections officer Scott Roemer says the shortages have other officers, including himself, working overtime each week. He says shortages also mean canceled programs and activities.  


"My biggest issue with low staffing is it causes tensions to be heightened due to lack of programming," Roemer said. "We have to start to close down programming, and that's a problem because we want everyone to be busy."

Roemer, who became a correction officer in 2014, says C.O.s enjoy benefits like a pension and the ability to retire as early as age 55.

"I like coming back here because I enjoy my job, I'm good at my job. And then long term, the benefits are amazing," he said.

Oak Park Heights penitentiary, the state's only maximum-security prison, is short 35 corrections officers.

"With our rehabilitative efforts moving forward, we need more people with open minds to come and try to see if it's a fit for them," said Emily Johnson, who also serves as a Level Two Correctional Officer at Oak Park Heights. "I look forward, I go off of my training, I look to my peers, we are all here for each other."

The DOC is also offering $5,000 cash bonuses for new applicants signing on to become cook coordinators, registered nurses, plumbers, dentists and more. To learn more about the DOC's incentive program and how to apply, visit the MN DOC's website.

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