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Michigan prisons losing around 50 officers per month, need to fill 700 openings

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is looking to fill about 700 vacant corrections officer positions at its prisons.

Department of Corrections Spokesman Chris Gautz tells the Detroit Free Press that the department has been losing about 50 officers a month over the last few years.

Gautz says that's largely due to a spike in retirements of people who joined the department three decades ago when the state had a prison building boom amid tough-on-crime attitudes of the 1980s. He says promotions and turnover also are factors in the corrections officer vacancies.

The newspaper says the department employs about 13,000 people and historically averaged about 400 to 500 vacancies at a time.

To draw applicants, the department has beefed up its recruitment efforts and loosened an eligibility requirement for corrections officers tied to college credit.

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