RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Some good news for the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections: vacancy rates in the agency are down.

“In the last, I would say probably three months or so, we started seeing some signs that we were actually hiring more people than we separated,” Stephanie Freeman, with the department, said.

Statewide, vacancy rates are sitting at less than 28%. In some individual facilities, rates are still as high as 40%-50%, but staff say the number of recent hires has already taken a weight off their shoulders.

“Some of the wardens that I’ve talked to out in the field, they have felt like, at least for their facilities, they’ve seen some really positive signs and have turned a corner,” Freeman said.

Leaders in the agency told CBS 17 there were some hiccups.

“We had a little pause while the legislature was passing the budget, we weren’t able to issue our sign-on bonuses, but once the budget went into place we were able to catch up on those,” Freeman said.

Retention and sign-on bonuses combined with ramped up hiring events have all drawn people in to accept jobs. While lower vacancy rates are good news for the agency, representatives said there’s still work to do to get even more people employed.