A very significant issue for DOCR is the continuing dramatic increase in the mentally ill being managed in County Correctional Facilities. These are high maintenance individuals requiring close observation often 1 officer to 1 inmate or 2 officers to 1 inmate, 24/7. These events are prime overtime drivers.
The mental health crisis and increases in violence and non-compliant behavior resulted in the creation of a Mental Health Step Down Unit in FY17 necessitating a full time (24/7) security post utilizing OT. This unit continues today on an overtime basis.
Vacancies for positions requiring backfill overtime increased due to resignation or termination while on probation, retirements and significant increases in internal promotions which causes a backfill effect at the entrance level.
FMLA and sick leave use continue to significantly impact overtime use.
Acute cases that require enhanced security and safety continue to rise, often resulting in one to one care plans to maintain their safety.
While new positions were allocated in FY17, the department continues to experience a significant change in those applicants successfully completing all steps of the on-boarding process. In FY17, 1 out of every 21 applicants were successfully completing the background process for employment. In FY18 to date, that number increased to 1 out of every 26. This requires the Department to increase their recruitment efforts and engage a much larger applicant pool to fill vacant positions. This is a trend being experienced by other correctional agencies in the region. DOCR has deployed enhanced recruitment practices to assist in increasing the applicant pool. Our recruitment has not kept pace with retirements. The department has utilized the services of a media firm to increase our exposure and has regular meetings with County OHR to look at best practices to increase recruitment.