An unexpected influx of Wisconsin state prisoners has caused overtime costs at the Department of Corrections to soar, boosting the pay of some officers to six figures, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Overtime exploded between mid-2005 and mid-2006, jumping 27 percent, to $36.3 million. The spike in overtime has come at a time when the corrections department projected that the prison population would drop slightly. Instead, between mid-2005 and mid-2007, it increased by about 1,000 inmates.
A staff shortage allowed 308 officers to earn more than $20,000 each in overtime alone last year, a Journal Sentinel analysis data found. Twenty-six of them more than doubled their wages. Fourteen earned six-figure salaries, including two who made more than $120,000. Susan Crawford, until recently a top aide to Corrections Secretary Rick Raemisch, said the boost in overtime was caused by many factors, including the increase in inmates and labor agreements that increased wages and gave officers more days off.