CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Interim Legislative Oversight Committee on Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority discussed pay for regional jail employees at its meeting Sunday, two days after three former workers were arrested in the October escape of Todd Boyes.
Boyes was caught trying to cross the Rio Grande four days walking out of the South Central Jail. Authorities charged three employees — Allison Bryant, Pamela McNeely and Jordan Toler — Friday with a misdemeanor each of permitting escape.
Boyes’ mother, Robin Helton, of Caldwell, Ohio, was charged on Oct. 30 in assisting his escape.
The interim committee discussed pay for employees, in which the minimum salary currently is $22,000. Long hours is also an issue the agency is facing, with employees working up to 16 hours a day.
David Farmer, the executive director of the West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority, said for authorities in surrounding states, salaries range from $31,000 to $41,900. When asked if there is a positive correlation between keeping employees and increased pay, Farmer said one did exist.
“It has to be a positive effect. We know that,” he said.
Delegate Tom Fast, R-Fayette, said there have been talks about increasing salaries, but was unsure if the committee could come up with something before the start of the legislative session on Jan. 10.
“I don’t know if we’re going to have a unified recommendation from the committee unless we have another interim meeting in January before we start the session,” he said.