Filling a Need for Corrections Officers
SB 162 Corrections Officer Certification Amendments
Senate Minority Assistant Whip Jani Iwamoto presented a bill Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Standing Committee to change the minimum age for correctional officers working in a jail facility to 19 years old.
Seeing a shortage of needed corrections officers, Iwamoto and several advisers—including Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera—decided to try a 3-year pilot program to determine if the age of 19 is reasonable for people to work in our jails. The concept only applies to shorter-stay jails, and not to state prisons. The age is similar to requirements for serving in the military or as a firefighter or emergency medical technician.
Numerous individuals testified in the committee hearing on behalf of the bill, and Iwamoto was pleased with the supportive turnout. The bill unanimously passed out of the committee and is on the Senate second reading calendar. Testimony from the hearing can be heard here.