Governor Lee Announces Pay Raise for State’s Correctional Officers


Tennessee Governor Bill Lee on Wednesday announced a pay raise for new Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) officers across the state.

Specifically, new correctional officers will receive a 37 percent salary increase, bringing the position’s starting salary to $44,500 per year. Current security staff members will also see a bump in salary, gaining a minimum 15 percent pay increase.

Citing the nationwide labor shortage, Lee detailed that the increase in salary was necessary to remain competitive when recruiting new officers.

“As we face staffing shortages across the country, rewarding officers with competitive pay will ensure we recruit and retain the most highly qualified individuals in our workforce,” said Lee. “These Tennesseans play a crucial role in ensuring public safety and we remain committed to valuing their important work.”

Furthermore, the department offers a $5,000 hiring bonus to new members.

“The men and women who work in facilities across Tennessee are dedicated public servants,” added TDOC Interim Commissioner Lisa Helton. “This salary increase makes our agency more competitive in attracting new talent and is a well-deserved raise for those currently serving our state.”

In recent months, the governor has focused on recruiting new law enforcement officers in multiple agencies. In addition to the announced pay increases, Lee made a nationwide pitch to law enforcement officers considering moving states.

Lee, in a promotional video, touted the benefits of relocating to Tennessee to join the state’s law enforcement agency, including a pledge to provide financial assistance to cover the costs associated with the move.

The governor explained that the Tennessee Highway Patrol also offers multiple job-specific perks.

“There are many highly skilled law enforcement personnel who want to work in a state that doesn’t get in the middle of personal health decisions yet also provides for a wonderful quality of life,” said Lee, referring to vaccine mandates that have spread throughout many states.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Bill Lee” by Gov. Bill Lee. Background Photo “Commissioner Derrick Schofield Addresses the Room.” by Tennessee Department of Correction.






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4 Thoughts to “Governor Lee Announces Pay Raise for State’s Correctional Officers”

  1. william r. delzell

    Corrections officers have a dangerous job even in the best of circumstances. Underpay and overcrowding further aggravate the danger. I hope the governor also included employee and family benefits like medical care, etc. Also, I hope the governor will allow the guards to join a labor union with strong collective bargaining power for the same reason that workers in hellholes like the Amazon warehouse that collapsed on several people in Kentucky should also unionize.

  2. 83ragtop50

    37%!!!! No one gets a 37% increase for doing the same job. I am all in favor of increasing pay at a reasonable rate, but 37%???!!!!!

    There goes any hope of seeing our taxes being reduced. We have to get Lee out of there before we are bankrupt.

  3. John

    As a Conservative (described by Mr. Obama) clinging to my religion and guns, I don’t mind this pay raise one bit. More than happy to see my tax money go to something that keeps us all safe.

    1. william r. delzell

      While we’re at it, John, let’s have the state of Tennessee take over all the privatized prisons in this state as guard pay there is even worse than it is in the state prisons. At least the state prisons have safety guidelines they theoretically must follow.