Almost one-fourth of all jobs at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections are vacant right now.  State officials say maximum security prisons in Waupun and Portage are operating with half-staffs.  Wisconsin Public Radio reports the state agency is sending two dozen officers from other locations to help.  State lawmakers approved raising the pay rates for guards by almost 15 percent last year to 19 dollars, three cents an hour.  Corrections Secretary Kevin Carr has said low pay and fears of contracting COVID-19 are keeping applicants away.  There are about 11 hundred open positions in the department.