Texas Offers $4,000 Signing Bonuses For Prison Guards

AMARILLO (February 21, 2014) The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is offering bonuses of $4,000 in an effort to boost recruitment of corrections officers as state prisons contend with shortfalls in staffing.

Prisons across the state are in need of guards, but the situation is particularly acute in the Panhandle, where nearly 150 guards are needed to fill vacancies at three facilities.

The TDCJ recently announced that its increasing signing bonuses from $3,000 for those who sign one-year contracts to work at one of 15 specific units in the Panhandle, West Texas, East Texas and South Texas.

The department wants the new hires for rural prisons and those in areas where the agency competes for workers with the oil and gas industry.

The starting salary for a full-time prison guard is $29,220, which can rise to $38,880 after 7½ years.

Employees who leave the job before the contract runs out must repay the bonuses.