Sheriff Martin asks Quorum Court for higher jailer pay

Sheriff Leroy Martin presents the jail report to the Quorum Court. (Joshua Turner / Banner News)

Sheriff Leroy Martin asked the Columbia County Quorum Court for a raise in jailer pay during the body's regular meeting on Monday.

Currently, Martin said, jailers at the Columbia County Sheriff's Office make $32,692 a year. Jailers in neighboring Ouachita County make $33,280 starting out, and Union County pays jailers $33,696.

Martin did not propose a specific raise amount.

State correctional officers at Varner Unit in Grady currently make $46,047 starting out, according to state data.

"Nobody's knocking down the doors to come. You look at the reports, you know -- you're being assaulted and having fecal matter being thrown on you. That's not enough money for somebody gonna come up there and want to work for that, " said Martin.

In January, three inmates escaped from the Columbia County Jail. Martin alleged that the inmates beat a jail officer and forced their way out of the facility.

Now the jail is in need of six new jailers, Martin said on Monday.

Martin said that he has been picking up shifts as a jailer when he has had to ensure the jail is staffed.

The Quorum Court did not make any decisions regarding an increase in jailer pay that night.