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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New prison set to increase staff

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Nearly 100 positions available at Southeast Correctional Center

CHARLESTON - The Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston - highly anticipated in this area as a new opportunity for jobs - is now looking to fill nearly 100 positions.

"We're getting ready to gear up and hire 94 staff," said Donna Y. McCondichie, SECC superintendent.

Of those, 73 of the jobs will be CO I correctional officer jobs, which are the Department of Correction's entry level guard position. Twelve openings are for CO II sergeant level guards. The remaining jobs include case workers, unit managers, maintenance, recreation officers and a storekeeper.

"We're going to have a one-day job fair on Aug. 7," McCondichie said. The job fair will take place from 8-11 a.m. and 5-8 p.m. at the prison, located off Highway 105 south of Charleston.

For those with a strong work ethic and leadership skills, "the opportunity for promotion is definitely there," McCondichie said. McCondichie is speaking from experience having started her career in the DOC as a corrections officer.

McCondichie said the prison is already accepting applications but those taking the corrections officer test during the job fair can then go to DeSoto on Aug. 8, take the physical test and complete the written and oral interviews, completing the entire CO I application process. "It takes them through everything in a two-days," said McCondichie.

Applicants should receive word within 30 days if they are to be listed on the register where eligible candidates for DOC jobs are ranked by their scores, McCondichie said. As openings come up, the DOC hires from the top of the list.

Once someone is selected from the register, they will receive a hiring letter with a report date. The next step is four days of orientation. On the fifth day, the new employees go to Jefferson City to pick up their uniforms.

Next is a four-week basic training course. Upon its completion, the new guards receive two weeks of on-the-job training, according to McCondichie. "Then we assign them to a shift."

Once active as a corrections officer, they will receive in-service training, regularly "retraining on the important things they need to be mindful of," McCondichie said, such as security counts, radio operation, use of force and searches.

McCondichie said applicants to the DOC can put their name on the list for the next available DOC opening or can request a specific county they are available for.

SECC has gradually been increasing its prisoner population and is now up 1,082 medium-security prisoners, according to McCondichie.

The prison was designed and built to hold 1,500 maximum security prisoners within the three-fence perimeter and an additional 96 minimum security outside the lethal fence.

McCondichie said plans still are to fully populate the prison with medium security inmates and then gradually transform the population to maximum security over the next couple of years, although the department has seen an increase in the number of medium security inmates.

Four of the SECC's six housing units within the maximum security perimeter are housing prisoners with a fifth having just come "on line," according to McCondichie.