The Michigan Department of Corrections plans to ramp up efforts in the coming year to recruit more women to work in prisons.
About one in five of Michigan’s corrections officers are female. In 2009, Michigan paid 100 million dollars as part of a settlement over the treatment of women in prison.
Michigan Corrections Director Heidi Washington says the Women’s Correctional Facility at Huron Valley needs more female staff.
“We’ve got to pay attention to the fact that working in a women’s prison is different than working at a male prison, and we need to turn our recruiting attention toward that,” said Washington.
Washington says other prisons also need more female staff to inspect female visitors and civilian employees. She says gender balance is also important to the culture of the department.