CRAIGSVILE, Va. (AP) — Virginia's prison system will offer bonuses to correctional officers willing to transfer to a state prison with high turnover and staff vacancy rates.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the first 30 Virginia Department of Corrections officers to be approved for a voluntary transfer to Augusta Correctional Center will receive an $8,000 bonus.

According to a Wednesday memo from the department's operations chief, David Robinson, the officers must commit to spending three years at the Shenandoah Valley prison. If they leave before then, they'd have to pay the bonus back, prorated.

The starting salary for officers is $30,484 and set to rise to $32,500 in January.

The organizing director for Virginia's National Coalition of Public Safety Officers chapter was critical of the offer, saying the state should "invest in the long term."


Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch,