According to the US Census Bureau, the median household income for Ohioans is $47,358. The national median is slightly higher: $51,914. (Note: per-capita income is $27,334)

Ohio’s Corrections Officers, however, start out making $34,008 per year and they max out at $41,350 with step increases.

You read that right: The MAXIMUM salary of an Ohio corrections officer is 20% below the national median household income.

The men and women who work at Ohio’s prisons are not, by any stretch of the imagination, overpaid. And considering the work they do, it would be very easy to make the argument that they are seriously under-compensated.

And yet, in their recently signed contract with the State of Ohio, Corrections officers agreed to a three year pay freeze mainly because of the budget shortages – specifically the $83.0 million Kasich cut from the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (DR&C) this year.

Any way you look at it, a pay freeze for Ohio’s Corrections Officers is a big deal. And some officers weren’t even lucky enough to get that.

On January 1st, 300 Corrections employees were laid off because of Kasich’s budget cuts and the privatization of North Central Correctional Institution.

On the same day, “Wardens in most of Ohio’s 26 prisons received raises of up to 23 percent.”

And it appears this is just the beginning.

According to Sally Meckling, Communications Director for OCSEA, the union that represents the corrections officers, DR&C is soon planning to abolish another 148 corrections officer positions while creating 33 new management jobs.

Raises and new jobs for management? Pay freezes and layoffs for those at the bottom?

Why am I not surprised?

Kasich came into office giving his top staff huge raises while cutting the salaries of the lowest paid workers. And Gary Mohr, Kasich’s Director of DR&C, seems to be taking his cues from the top.

  • Jwizzler

    They MAX OUT at $41,000!?!?  Wow!! Why is Kasich always going after these public workers? They certainly deserve more than that.

  • Danngoingdown1

    what a BS post – you are comparing average per capita personal income to average national household income? they are not remotely the same thing.

    for the record, the average per capita income in Ohio in 2010 is $25,113, so the average corrections officer is making well above the average person in Ohio.

    stop lying to your readers

  • That’s the same link I included in the post.    For the sake of clarity, I updated the post to include the per-capita income.  

  • ummeli

    Anyone who’s ever toured a prison would tell you the COs are definitely underpaid.  How many jobs can you think of in which people regularly have feces and urine thrown at them?And, of course, there’s always the likelihood of dying to take into consideration.  Thanks to layoffs and funding cuts the prisons are so short-staffed that the question isn’t IF another Lucasville riot could happen, but WHEN.  It’s just a matter of time before more COs die. 

  • Kentstater5

    Please be sure to use the proper words when describing salary – median is not average. You use it correctly once and then mix them up – don’t want to give your detractors any ammunition to weaken your argument.

  • Adrienne

    If they voted for Prince John and the other rotten R’s they get what they deserve, to get screwed because R’s only like people who have money, not people who do real work.

  • Dmoore2222

    It’s pretty clear what’s going on here. Republicans are picking on whom they think have the least power and representation. That may work in the short term, but in the long run it becomes more and more obvious to more and more voters that the political talking points just don’t match the reality. Nothing is worse than getting screwed by politicians you supported. The payback will come in November and the republicans know it.

  • Anonymous

    It is easy to see why the average income is so skewed when you consider that the average legislator in Ohio is making $61+ k a year for his/her part time job in Columbus.

  • Yes, true. ‘average’ implied mean, and that’s not what we’re talking about here. Thanks. You’d think with a computer science degree and 6 years of college math under my belt, I’d be more careful.

  • FedUp

    I agree Dan I mean hell ,, wouldn’t want to confuse us as the needy ones.  I’m sure those in the “average” range are worried about when their next govt. assistance check will arrive so they can pay their cable and cell phone bill or if they’ll have enough food stamps to sell for a lil’ spendin cash after they stock  pantry. Me I’m livin the high life, workin on my 18th year as a CO,  wife has a good job too and yes have a mansion and a yacht.  Not!!   Our union asked us if we would sacrifice even more and not take a pay raise for another 3 years( that’ll make it 6 i believe) and we did it.  For Ohio. For what? So some warden can make $ 88,000 a year and probably live in a state provided home where he/she pays nothing but utilities each month.  Seriously? Ohio wardens will now be among the top paid in the nation.  How does he justify giving executive staff such huge raises when they were in part to blame for mismanaging their budgets in the past and helping to create this mess. I guess that will make the guilt pill a little easier to swallow as they boot more officers out the door.

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  • FedUp

    Id bet with all the govt assistance those “average” persons are entitled to, they live better than a lot of us” well above average” paid C Os.  And with all of us agreeing to not get a raise for another 3 years (that’ll make it 6 total i believe) to help with the budget in Ohio, how can they justify raising Ohio’s warden’s pay to $88,000 a year? Using a  comparison similar to yours, the national average salary of  a warden is around $55,000.  Ohio’s wardens will now be among the highest in the US.  What pray tell have they done, or will they do to deserve that?  Especially in these times of supposed sacrifice.  I mean a 34% inmate recidivism rate is good, but not that good. I think its to make that guilt pill easier to swallow as they boot more officers out the door and welcome more management in.  Me personally, when I walk the corridors I prefer to see more brothers and sisters in gray than I do management in suits and ties.

  • mike michaels

     damn babies bringing down the average again

  • Anonymous

    As corrections officers, we are the ones getting screwed. I got my face caved in by an inmate in april 2011, after 4 months of fighting with workers comp, i finally got surgery on my face. jan 2012 a state doctor (picked by workers comp) im told i have a traumatic brain injury. i was fired by the state in dec because i hadnt returned to work. where were these wardens at when i got assulted, they sent the next highest paid staff to them to film me until the ambulance took me away. but we have not had a raise in 9 years with this pay freeze.  but all those who put us down for making all that money i finally say screw you, if you want that high paying job we have take your winey butt in the prison and do the job. before this injury i made 41,000 a year with a collage degree and 22 years of state time. that kind of thinking is what got this state and country in the mess were in now, when the people at the top keep making more while the working guy just keeps getting screwed out of a decent wage.

  • Anastasjoy

    Each of those high-paid administrators should be forced to work a few shifts a month in the prison.

  • Anastasjoy

    Considering that the only links I can find for that online at to rantings from right-wingers appending comments to articles, I’d appreciate a link to a factual news story. And in fact even one of those ranters claimed Chris Mabe’s (if that’s who you were referring to) salary is only about $90,000, not exceptionally high. And if the union members don’t like it, they can vote him out. These changes are top-down and the peons have no say. Ultimately, the peons RUN the unions. They are their voices.

  • Anastasjoy

    Didn’t some Republican say last year that Ohio legislators deserve a raise? Not for the job they are currently doing!

  • Anonymous

    that just goes to show that the real working people are getting screwed. while their wages are that low people like lawmakers, and business owners are getting richer, and we know why. the rich get richer the poor get poorer, id bet my butt your either making more then 75,000 a year or better or laying around drawing welfare, but id bet youve never worked a hard day in your life. your one of those people who beleive that public workers are lazy worthless people but would go (use your name) rich in a heart beat. ive seen your type on here before, maybe couldnt get a public job so you take it out on correction officers. next time you or your family need a correction officer to keep someone behind the fence to protect you maybe we will be to under paid or lazy to stop them. good luck sir

  • Anonymous

    no the republicans are going after state workers for fighting them on senate bill 5, now their going after the voters and trying to make ohio a right to work state, which means you have to work for what ever the state or big companies wants them to work for, or not work at all. its like in the old days when you worked for the coal mines and then had to buy everything from the company store, which they charged what ever they wanted, until the unions and the workers started fighting back for a decent wage.

  • Annekarima

    Sounds like they will have to with no one around to do the jobs.  Or the inmates will have taken control.

  • Depressed

    I to was seriously injured during a gang fight at a Juvenile prison in early September. It wasn’t until October that BWC approved a MRI and CT scan and determined how badly I was injured. I had multiple broken bones and a severed tendon. It wasn’t until mid-December that BWC allowed the claim for the breaks and tear VS. a SPRAIN. It wasn’t until mid-January that I was approved for surgery. I was also disability separated from my job after surgery was approved. I asked an administrator why the process was taking so long especially when my injuries weren’t subjective. I was told it was the Doctors fault. WHAT!  by contract I could only see one of their “approved” Doctors. Had I been allowed to see my Doctor I would have already had surgery, rehabbed and back to work long ago.

  • Ktrain72

    The average person doesnt risk getting their Ass kicked at work or assaulted by some thug who could care less about following the rules in prison. Prison violence is at all time highs, especially gang violence, as staffing levels keep going down. How about TB, hep B and C,Aids to mention a few wonderful things your around on a daily basis. And where are you going to work where staffing levels get so low that you are mandated to work 16 hr shifts up to 3 days a week or face firing for refusing.

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