EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX.WEAU) – Wisconsin is seeing a lack of jailers in county jails and prisons across the state. According to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. The state’s prisons are dealing with a 32% staff vacancy rate. A trend that’s also being seen at the local level. The Eau Claire County Jail is budgeted for 63 correctional officer positions. It’s currently 15 short.

Jail Captain, Travis Holbrook, says working in the jail can be a mentally taxing job which is why it’s hard to find and keep staff, “Because we’re a 24 seven 365 operation, we have people working around the clock. And, you know, people with families necessarily don’t like working night shift, working holidays, working weekends. And that’s been a trend lately, too.”

In an effort to recruit and retain jail staff. County jailers were given protective status under state law, which will go into effect on January 1st, 2024.