Acknowledging a years-long problem with understaffing at state correctional facilities, the State Division of Corrections plans to step up its recruitment efforts.
The Division continues to hold job fairs and testing all around the state, and most recently announced that it plans to hire a private recruiting firm to fill vacancies.
Herald-Mail highlights frustration from unions, correctional officers, and state elected officials relating to the staffing shortage:
“I don’t understand why we’re having this conversation for three years in a row,” Patrick Moran, president of Council 3 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told Herald-Mail Media on Thursday. …
“What I’m getting is there’s frustration from the correctional officers with the administration and the union,” Del. Mike McKay, R-Washington/Allegany, said. “They feel their concerns are not getting to where they need to go.
“The staffing shortage is unacceptable,” he added.
Last session, the General Assembly included a number of provisions in the budget related to Corrections’ understaffing.
- The Budget Committees requested a report by November 1, 2018, on savings resulting from the vacancies, and using at least part of of those savings on recruitment efforts.
- Another report was requested by December 1, 2018 addressing departmental vacancies in administrative positions.
- The General Assembly also amended the budget to withhold $500,000 from the Department until it submitted a study on correctional officers’ salaries and how they compare to salaries of other correctional officers in nearby jurisdictions.