The Upper Rio Grande and South Texas Border regions had less than 15 percent turnover.
"That tends to be a more stable workforce along the border," Clark said.
Whitmire concurred, pointing out other potential troubles that stem from low income offerings.
"The low pay is a problem in terms of the increase in contraband," he said.
"There's other job opportunities opening up in rural Texas." Data from the Texas State Auditor's Office show a marked increase over the previous year, when 22.8 percent of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's roughly 26,000 officers left for other jobs.
At the same time, department vacancy rates have crept up again to over 12 percent, with 3,207 jobs unfilled.
"When you lose 20-some percent of your employees every year, it's hard," Lowry said.
"Some of it just could be the local economy growing that tends to pull away from TDCJ," Clark said.
Over the past five years, staffing shortages forced the department to mothball about 1,900 beds, according to TDCJ numbers.
Continue Reading Article Oil, gas jobs lure officers to more lucrative work By Keri Blakinger November 15, 2017 Texas prisons are shedding officers with a staggering 28 percent turnover rate in the last fiscal year, a "mass exodus" that some experts say stems from a strengthening economy and recovering oil and gas sector.
"A lot of these guys don't want to work in a prison," said Lance Lowry, a spokesman for the Huntsville-based Texas Correctional Employees union.