|Goal 1 - 4: To provide sufficient numbers of qualified correctional and probation staff to achieve effective and efficient custody and supervision of sentenced offenders.|
(Baselines indicated in parentheses)
Employee Recruitment and Retention
Complementary to the need to recruit is the need to retain existing staff. After a steady decline over several years staff turnover rates started to rise again in 1993. The rise was partly caused by local governments increasing their salaries faster than the state. Also, the steady improvement in the economy is providing more jobs in the private sector. The inherently stressful and dangerous nature of the job undoubtedly discourages many potential employees from even applying. These conditions require the department to remain competitive in employment opportunities. Chart 1-10 and Table 1-1 illustrate the trend in staff turnover rates and differences in compensation between state and local government correctional officers.13
| Turnover by Calendar Year
|Chart 1-10. Click for larger view.|
Regarding salaries, an inequity continues between the entry-level correctional officer and law enforcement officer. Table 1-1 compares DC entry level salaries with those of a broad sample of other law enforcement agencies. Additionally, there are salary and other inequities among other job classes within the department. For the department to maintain a competitive edge with other agencies and the private sector all entry-level salaries and benefits should be evaluated to achieve equity.14
These continuing pay disparities have led certain areas of the department (particularly in South Florida) to experience excessive turnover, as well as recruitment problems. In addition to the costs of turnover, many institutions and offices are operating at or below minimum staffing levels. This can endanger not only the safety of the public,staff and offenders, but also can inhibit staff effectiveness. The situation also forces the department to pay overtime to maintain critical staffing levels.
More inmates incarcerated for serious offenses and remaining housed in correctional institutions longer periods of time accentuates job stress affecting the staff who work there. Providing programs and resources to alleviate the effects of the dangerous and demanding work environment is an important factor in ensuring safety for correctional officers and the public, as well as being important to employee recruitment and retention. In this regard, a central activity of the Foundation for Partnerships in Correctional Excellence (DSO) is assistance to employees and their families through support of various and community partnerships.
| Table 1-1
Position Title: Corrections Officer
|Sheriff's Office||Minimum Salary
|Dept. of Corrections||18,108||29,075|
Objective 1 - 4.1:
Increase the annual retention rate by 10% above 1996 levels department wide and in each occupational group.