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Mailing Address:  P. O. Box 2265, Granby, CO 80446-2265
Office:  97 Forrest Drive, Granby, Colorado
Tel: 970-887-3759 ∙ Cell:  307-760-2922 ∙ Cell: 307-760-6890
e-mail:  pedersenplanning@gmail.com

Project Experience

Project: CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WAGE STUDY
WYOMING DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Location: State of Wyoming
Client: Carbon County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC)
P. O. Box 487, Rawlins, Wyoming  82301
Contact: Gary Graalman, President, Board of Directors
Ron Kilgore, Executive Director
Year Completed: 1999, Updated 2001
Project Scope:

The Carbon County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) is committed to supporting the long-term viability of the State of Wyoming’s Department of Corrections (WDOC) activities in Rawlins, Wyoming where the State’s primary correctional institutional is located.  A recent expansion of this WDOC complex, combined with a somewhat higher employee turn-over rate at the Wyoming State Penitentiary, prompted CCEDC to retain Pedersen Planning Consultants to investigate the potential need for an adjustment in wages for Wyoming’s correctional officers.  CCEDC needed an objective study of relevant issues, which could be brought to the Wyoming Department of Corrections, the Governor, and State Legislature for further consideration.  The original 1999 study was updated in 2001 to again provide relevant information to the Governor, the Wyoming State Legislature, and the State Department of Corrections.

PPC initially identified existing wage scales and benefit packages for correctional officers working at the Wyoming State Penitentiary (WSP) in Rawlins, the Wyoming Women’s Center in Lusk, the Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp in Newcastle, and the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton.   Subsequently, the competitiveness of WDOC’s wage and benefit package was compared with other State and municipal law enforcement agencies within Wyoming, 22 other state correctional agencies in the American West, and average national wage scales for correctional officers.  The disparities were further evaluated in the context of a deterrent to WDOC’s recruitment of new correctional officers and the retention of existing correctional officers.  

Options were developed for achieving competitive wage scales and benefit packages for WDOC correctional officers. The options specified desirable wage scale increases and encouraged the WDOC to  establish expanded eligibility requirements to help build up a more qualified and committed pool of prospective correctional officer candidates. 

 Specific recommendations identified a preferred wage scale rate and recommended modifications in the scope of available employee benefits.  An approach to determining annual salary increases, which was based upon annual evaluations of regional market pay in 23 states, was also recommended.