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Bowie County jail faces employment challenges

Recruiter brought on board to help deal with worker shortage
The Bowie County sheriff says that the shortage of workers has not affected community safety.
The Bowie County sheriff says that the shortage of workers has not affected community safety.
Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 12:27 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2021 at 7:56 PM CDT
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BOWIE COUNTY, Texas. (KSLA) - “Help wanted” signs are visible at many ArkLaTex businesses. The need for more workers can be highlighted by the need for jailers in Bowie County, Texas.

“Currently, we are going in the right direction, hiring a few more people then we are losing,” Bowie County Sheriff Jeff Neal explained. “But we are still short staffed and are in need of quite a few jailers.”

Bowie County officials took over the Bi-State Jail and Correctional annex from a private business in February. Improvements have been made, the sheriff said, but the jail is short 68 jailers and filling those positions has been a challenge.

The worker shortage also has caused currently employed jailers to make adjustments in an effort to meet Texas state jail standards for supervision. The county brought on recruiter Roger McDonald to help with the situation.

“We haven’t had a whole lot of applicants recently,” McDonald said. “But most correction facilities across the country are short-handed at this time.”

Neal said the shortage of personnel is not affecting community safety.

To qualify for employment at the Bowie County lockup, one must:

  • be at least 18 years old,
  • be a high school graduate or equivalent, and,
  • have a valid driver’s license.

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