New research shows Georgia’s prisons are 4th most understaffed in US

New research has revealed the states with the least staffed prisons, with Oklahoma taking the top spot.

Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers at H&P Law examined 2023 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and 2022 data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics on the number of correctional officers and the number of prisoners in each state, respectively. The number of prisoners per correctional officer was calculated to determine the states with the least staffed prisons.

In first place is Oklahoma, with 5.87 prisoners per correctional officer. The state has 3,910 correctional officers and 22,941 prisoners. Despite this, the state ranks in the bottom 10 nationally when it comes to the salary paid to correctional officers and jailers, offering a mean wage of $43,110 per year.

Alabama ranks second with 26,421 prisoners and 4,840 correctional officers. This equates to 5.46 prisoners per correctional officer. The state has a slightly higher mean annual wage than Oklahoma, offering $44,450 per year to its guards.

Idaho comes in at third place. Despite the low prisoner count (9,110, to be precise) the low number of correctional officers at 1,800 results in a ratio of 5.06 to one. The mean wage for correctional officers in Idaho, however, exceeds that of Oklahoma by over $8,500.

Georgia is fourth on the list. With 10,040 correctional officers overseeing a prison population of 48,439, the state has 4.82 prisoners per guard. The state pays its guards almost as little as Oklahoma, offering a mean wage of $43,190 per year.

Florida is in fifth place, with 4.48 prisoners per guard. There are 84,678 prisoners in total (the third-highest prison population in the country) while there are just 18,890 guards.

Mississippi is in sixth place. The state has 4,530 correctional officers and 19,802 prisoners, which equates to 4.37 prisoners per guard.

Although there are 3.94 correctional officers per 1,000 employees in Mississippi (the second-highest rate in the country), the state offers its guards the lowest annual mean wage in the country, at $37,000 per year.

At number seven, Missouri is next. There are 23,911 prisoners in the state and 5,500 correctional officers, resulting in a figure of 4.35 prisoners per guard.

Eighth is Michigan, whose 32,374 prisoners are kept under lock and key by 7,790 correctional officers. The result is a ratio of 4.16 prisoners for every guard in the state.

Alaska occupies the ninth spot. The state has 4,778 prisoners and 1,170 guards for a total of 4.08 prisoners per guard.

Montana narrowly makes it into tenth place, with 1,190 correctional officers and 4,691 prisoners, resulting in a ratio of 3.94 prisoners per guard. Montana’s guards are paid a mean annual wage of $48,660.

At the other end of the ranking, Massachusetts is the state with the fewest prisoners per correctional officer. With 5,950 correctional officers and 6,001 prisoners, the state has a ratio of just 1.01 prisoners for every one correctional officer.

RankStatePrisoners per correctional officer
1Oklahoma5.87
2Alabama5.46
3Idaho5.06
4Georgia4.82
5Florida4.48
6Mississippi4.37
7Missouri4.35
8Michigan4.16
9Alaska4.08
10Montana3.94

Matthew Pfau, a partner at H&P Law, commented on the findings: “Jailers and correctional officers perform a vital role in society, so it is concerning to hear of their immense workload in some states.

“Making this data public is hopefully the first step towards relieving the pressure on the people who work in prisons across the country.”

Methodology

The latest available data on number of Correctional Officers and Jailers in each state was taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the number of prisoners in each state was taken from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The number of prisoners was divided by the number of correctional officers and jailers to calculate the rate of prisoners per correctional officer. The states were then ranked in order of the highest ratio of prisoners to officers to reveal the final rankings. Below, you can find a full list of the rankings. Note that no data is available for Rhode Island.

RankStatePrisoners under the jurisdiction of state or federal correctional authoritiesNumber of correctional officers and jailersPrisoners per correctional officer
1Oklahoma22,9413,9105.87
2Alabama26,4214,8405.46
3Idaho9,1101,8005.06
4Georgia48,43910,0404.82
5Florida84,67818,8904.48
6Mississippi19,8024,5304.37
7Missouri23,9115,5004.35
8Michigan32,3747,7904.16
9Alaska4,7781,1704.08
10Montana4,6911,1903.94
11Louisiana27,2966,9503.93
12Texas139,63135,5703.93
13Arkansas17,6254,5903.84
14Indiana25,2866,8703.68
15Ohio45,31312,5603.61
16South Carolina16,3184,7403.44
17Nevada10,3043,1003.32
18Utah6,0091,8103.32
19Vermont1,3604103.32
20Hawaii4,1491,2803.24
21Wisconsin20,8736,5003.21
22Kentucky19,7746,3303.12
23Delaware4,9541,6103.08
24Connecticut10,5063,6202.90
25California97,60833,7402.89
26Oregon12,5184,3302.89
27Tennessee23,7358,3002.86
28New Hampshire2,0867302.86
29South Dakota3,4441,2102.85
30Kansas8,7093,2702.66
31Maryland15,6375,9502.63
32Iowa8,4733,2302.62
33Virginia27,16210,3902.61
34Colorado17,1686,6102.60
35Wyoming2,1548402.56
36Arizona33,86513,2602.55
37Pennsylvania37,91015,2502.49
38Illinois29,63412,0702.46
39North Carolina29,62712,1402.44
40West Virginia5,8732,5902.27
41Washington13,7726,2502.20
42Nebraska5,6493,0101.88
43North Dakota1,8171,0201.78
44Minnesota8,6364,9801.73
45Maine1,6759901.69
46New Mexico4,9703,2301.54
47New Jersey12,6578,5401.48
48New York31,14826,0801.19
49Massachusetts6,0015,9501.01

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Inside Eagle Nation | Episode 284

Next Story

CTAE Delivers, East Georgia Regional provides career experiences for high school students

NEVER MISS A STORY!
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link
NEVER MISS A STORY!
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link
NEVER MISS A STORY!
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link

The Latest News Straight to Your Inbox

Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
SUBSCRIBE NOW
close-link
Click Me