DOC Corrections Officers work long hours due to lack of staff

Department of Corrections (PNC file photo)

The Department of Corrections has been going through a shortage of staff -which apparently causes corrections officers to work as long as 16 hours per shift.

In an interview with PNC – Major Antone Aguon says that the issue of the lack of officers has been ongoing.

“We’ve recruited, in the last two years, we’ve recruited just about 40 officers. But during that same time period, we also lose a few, some will go to other agencies, some will resign, take careers off the island, some are disciplined and let go, Retirement, and so we continue to lose officers and we try to recruit as fast as we can to fill those slots.”

Currently, DOC has 162 correction officers from the warden down to armed security. There are 22 vacancies.

According to Major Aguon, if funding was not an issue, the Department of Corrections would need over 350 officers to run the department 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Aside from funding, finding eligible candidates is another issue the department faces.

Major Aguon told PNC that hiring more officers can also help with other officers working 12-hour shifts.

“If we can get up to 200 officers to 212 that would greatly help our officers that are pulling 12-hour shifts, some of them are 16 hours. Some work 6 days a week.”

Major Aguon added that DOC’s building structure is also another issue.

“The building themselves has its own challenges, whether it’s plumbing, lighting, locks.”

Currently, they are planning to have cameras, use drone cameras, and expand the facility–which he says could take up to 80 years.

Contact Jannette Samson | E-mail: | Phone: 671-689-2842

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Jannette Samson is a broadcast reporter for the Pacific News Center. Her beats are lifestyle, tourism, and crime, among others. Aside from being a reporter, she is also PNC's social media and web editor. You can sometimes hear her reporting the latest headlines for you on Sorensen Media Group's radio stations and on K57. Some of Jannette's passions include art, beauty, and blogging. She paints, creates prints, and dabbles in various art media in her free time. Jannette is also a self-taught makeup artist. In addition to that, she is a visual artist. Her artwork was featured in many art exhibitions and galleries in Guam such as Imbentibu Famalao'an I at the Castro Art Gallery; Imbentibu Famalao'an II and Body Beautiful at the Lees-Reyes Art Gallery; the 2020 University of Guam Undergraduate Exhibition; and the Annual Research Conference Art Exhibition at the Isla Center for the Arts.