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Limestone Correctional Facility

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Department of Corrections is hiring a new category of corrections officer as the state tries to address a prison staffing shortage.

Sixty-one basic correctional officers will graduate Friday from the Alabama Corrections Academy in Selma.

The prison system created the new position of basic officer this year to speed the hiring of security staff. The program has easier entry requirements, and graduates can do some, but not all of the tasks, handled by correctional officers.

The prison system said that after completing the six-week academy, basic correctional officers are certified to supervise inmates and conduct searches. They can also assist with educational, vocational opportunities and rehabilitative services.

The state faces a court order to add officers. The state has also raised salaries in an effort to increase staff.

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