JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced Friday the biggest pay raise in history for corrections officers and that the state would close the prison that was locked down for months last year.
Parsons said Crossroads Correctional in Cameron, Missouri will close. Inmates will move into another nearby state prison once it's retrofitted to handle maximum security.
The governor said that will help staffing, which Fox 2 has reported is a crisis in which the department is understaffed by about a thousand officers. The state is also increasing pay to help bring officers up from being among the lowest paid in the nation.
"The pay increase is needed with the DOC -- Department of Corrections -- is the largest pay increase in DOC's history," Parson said.
The plan includes a three-percent cost-of-living increase for all state employees. In addition, corrections officers will get an extra one-percent increase for every two years of continued service.
"The beauty of the whole plan is that it gives my staff who are exhausted, who are stressed, who are working so much mandatory overtime a well-deserved pay increase," said Corrections Director Anne Precythe.
Click on our series of reports, "Crumbling Corrections," which has exposed the fallout from Missouri's staffing crisis and low pay.