The Portland, Maine, Press Herald today takes a close look at the jobs of the 600 men and women employed as corrections officers in the state’s 15 county jails. Reporter Beth Quimby concludes, “It can be depressing, wearing and dangerous work. Corrections officers face long hours and an ever-present threat of assault. The turnover rate is high. On three shifts each day, the officers work with a population plagued by alcoholism, drug abuse and mental illness. Those who go into the work believing they are going to help change lives can be quickly disillusioned.”
Corrections specialists told Quimby the stresses and dangers of the job are poorly understood by the public. In a sidebar, the paper detailed the pay scale for jail corrections officers, which ranged from a minimum of $10.08 an hour in Aroostook County to as much as $21.34 an hour for the rank of lieutenant in York County.