Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Prison guard cuts could come through attrition

If the Legislature orders TDCJ to reduce the number of correctional officers and close prisons, the cuts could probably be managed effectively through attrition with few actual layoffs, according to a report (not online) I received in an open records request from TDCJ called "FY 2010 Agency Turnover by Title." That document shows the number of COs remaining steady a little more than 28,000 over the last fiscal year, but with 5,724 CO "separations" from the agency in just one year, or 20.31% of their prison guard workforce. The turnover rate for a CO 1, or an entry level guard slot, was a whopping 59%.

Overall, TDCJ had 7,375 total employee separations in FY 2010, including guards, but the agency-wide turnover rate was just 16.79%, so the non-front line jobs turn over less quickly.

All this to say, if it's planned properly, employee reductions at TDCJ needn't all come from "layoffs." Reducing the number of COs has never been the agency's problem! Hiring them is where they've historically had difficulty.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hiring is not the problem keeping them once their hired is. If TDCJ would try to reduced turnover they would save millions in training cost.

Prison Doc said...

Hard to increase retention without increased salaries and benefits. As it stands, it is a low wage entry level position in which employees have to deal with a lot of abuse...except for the benefits it's an easy job to beat.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Prison Doc, COs are getting a pay cut!

The boost they got last biennium to increase retention would not be renewed in either the House nor Senate budgets. Their pay had increased 3.5% each of the last two years for a total of 7% (to solve what was for several years a significant understaffing crisis). As I understand it, that extra pay s being eliminated, amounting to a pay cut to FY 2009 levels. Some of that money went to short-term incentives for new hires that will now go away, likely increasing the turnover rate for CO 1s and 2s.

And Justice for all? said...

GOOD ARTICLE, i'M GLAD TO KNOW THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT CAN NOT STAY AS EMPLOYEES, PROBABLY BECAUSE OF THE CORRUPTION AND CONDITIONS THEY SEE. i COUNT THE ONES THAT DONT STAY AS HUMAN, WHILE THE ONES STAYING end up part of the problem with the system, like you my view and opinion.I subscribe to ecorrection news letter and orientation is about "customer service"? Now why would that be? the "customers are not the inmates or their families.

Anonymous said...

You bet your boots the corruption tops the reason that most COs leave. A smaller TDCJ-ID administration at the very top would make graft more difficult to detect, but there would be less of it. Reducing the size of the top of the iceberg would streamline the finger pointing when funds are squandered.

Anonymous said...

Grits, I hadn't heard about the pay cut you're referring to. Where can I read more about that?

Thanks,

Marty Ley

Anonymous said...

Dear lost and confused, No, the main reason why staff leave TDCJ is not corruption. Corruption exists throughout every career field and every profession. The main reason is simple, the job sucks: Low pay, low standards and horrible working environment. In general society's traditional low interest/concern with prisons fosters the development and opportunity for corruption to flourish.

Anonymous said...

Grits, I read HB1 and SB1. SB1 in section 9 does not cut officer pay. In section 9 of HB1 it freezes the co and security staff pay at fy2011 levels. Both bills eliminate the pay raise for other departmental staff though in section 84 of both bills. So, if either bill passes as written there will be a lot of staff getting pay cuts. But, correctional officers and supervisors won't be among them. At least that is how I'm understanding the language in the bills. Or, am I missing something?

Thanks,

Marty Ley