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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Corrections Officers Need Help

From a Northampton County Corrections Officer: We are very understaffed. Seventeen  need to be hired, and another 16 out injured or on long term medical leave, is a pretty accurate number. It is putting stress on the officers, especially the night shift. They are working from ten at night util two the next afternoon, only to be back at ten that same night.  They often do it a second day in row. The officers are threatened by both prison and county administration with a schedule change of ten or twelve hour days. The majority of officers are opposed. There is one simple request by the officers that is ignored. Bring the officers up to full compliment. Until then, and only then, can the overtime at the prison be addressed. Right now we fill in the overtime, some mandatory, created by mismanagement.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Typo in headline - should be "Need"

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thank you.

Yes, it's all about what I think... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yes, it's all about what I think... said...

Is anyone concerned about both the top-heavy management of the jail, OR the number of employees out on leave?

I wonder what the overtime numbers look like now all you pencil-pushing budget masters.

Overtime is ultimately cheaper than staffing properly, but comes at a high cost. I suspect that some of the employees on leave may be injured on burned out.

Coincidence?

You be the judge.

David Mercado said...

I really wish they'd start hiring. I'd apply in a heartbeat

Anonymous said...

"16 out injured or on long term medical leave"

Here's part of the problem. Something needs to be done to address this.

Anonymous said...

crybaby union pukes

Anonymous said...

Tell the officers who've been out for six months with a a number of hilarious reasons ie: ingrown toe nail to get back to work or lose their jobs. I bet you'd see those 16 or so come immediately back. This is the real problem. I feel from the officers working 16 hrs. However, their fellow officers are the ones screwing them and not the administration.

Anonymous said...

Most are out injured because they responded to incidents such as fights, assaults, etc. It's part of the job but hey, jump to conclusions and write your judgemental crap.

Anonymous said...

7:24 Good Post!
I bet these 16 employees are being paid full salary with no incentive to return. They convince their doctors to keep them out all the while the hard working guards that do show up are getting screwed by their fellow workers. Stop paying them and see how fast they come back! Management is scared to do anything to them because they are union employees!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why don't some of you nay sayers put on the uniform and see how long you would last in that job. Probably would not make an entire 8 hour shift. The officers on workmans comp are a small percentage of the corrections staff. Even if all officers are working they are still 17 short. No way to run a jail. County administration is delusional if they think they can run this short.

Anonymous said...

Good cops and bad cops. Good employee's and bad ones. Hard workers and slackers. What is the tax payer to do? Grin and bear it..right?

Bernie O'Hare said...

David, If you are serious, you ought to apply now.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Tell the officers who've been out for six months with a a number of hilarious reasons ie: ingrown toe nail"

And your evidence of this is?

Corrections officers are in a building full of people who have been convicted of criminal activity. It is expected that these employees are going to have far more injuries than a row office worker.

Anonymous said...

One reason that some of these officers are out some long could possibly be the care they receive. As they must peport to the county healthcare providerfor at least the first 90 days of treatment, (as the case with most employers with workmans comp claims). However, it seems the first step in most cases is physical therapy for a month or so. If affer that maybe then they will look at other options such as an MRI or such, which hopefully show what is really the problem. That could possibly leadmto surgery then more therapy until back to 100% (asthere is no "light duty" at the jail). So it just might be that healthcare providers should be addressed also to figure out the true cause for an injury first, but then again all the Dr's need to get a cut also. This is not only a issue at the jail or county but across the board with the workmans comp system.

Anonymous said...

Just remember who their union boss is (JJ)...that explains it all. The cancer within NORCO is the public sector unions. Some injuries may be legit but I doubt all of them. Less population requires full staffing complements? I doubt it. It means more contributions to the union coffers.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You've already betrayed your anti-unioin bias, but to those interested in facts, it makes no difference whether the jail census is diminished. The reason it makes no difference is because the facility was built right around the Civil War and was not built with the idea of using guards in the most efficient way possible. All areas in use must still be covered.

David Mercado said...

I constantly check to see if they are actively recruiting. Unfortunately they are not

Bernie O'Hare said...

It does not matter. Apply anyway.

David Mercado said...

Can't apply unless there is a posted vacancy. I've tried. Hopefully they start hiring, we'll see I guess

Anonymous said...

They won't hire any time soon. They just closed down the Academy that was held at the prison and are looking into sending people to state Academy. The state Academy is harder to get into and they can't send add many add they could at the prison run Academy. It will take a long time to get back to staffing levels that are needed. Oh and a side note. ..... For you people that like to bash the officers, in just the past week one officer was assaulted and another got hit with shit. I wish some of you would work 8 hours in a place like that.

David Mercado said...

Well that settles that. Any info on Lehigh county corrections?

Anonymous said...

Why is their academy closed? Is it because of the hiring freeze, or disbanded for cost? During a County Council meeting a couple years back council recognized the prison academy by reading a letter from the state complimenting on it's success.

Anonymous said...

It's not officially closed as of yet. But since there is a hiring freeze, I guess it is as good as closed. Word is they will do away with the academy, and send new hires to the state academy, which as someone stated earlier could take up to a year for a new hire to attend. The state requires a new hire to complete the academy within a year of their start date. Problem is counties can only get slots when the state has some left over.

David Mercado said...

Anyone have any info on Lehigh county corrections?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Not I. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

I have worked in corrections for various counties including Northampton. The real problem is their model for scheduling that does not allocate officers in the most efficient manner. Also, there is no reason why part time officers are not utilized. This same problem exists in the juvenile center. By making these changes one could easily save the County $500,000 or more and have the necessary coverage.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Brown should rely on the people who work here before going tge consultant route.

Anonymous said...

Brown should listen and evaluate opinions from both people on the outside as well as currently employed. Unfortunately, you have seen people on the inside also have their own agendas which do not help the overall "big picture." And, others are not allowed to rock the boat. Consultants, if utilized correctly, can offer alternatives. Brown needs to communicate to all (workers and tax payers) his ability to deal with County business in a positive leadership manner and he is willing to make the difficult decisions

Anonymous said...

Bernie - I received word from a very reliable source that the corrections department is in the running to be taken over by the sheriff's department and corrections officers being converted to deputy sheriff's? Might want to check with the county Exec on this.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:36 PM

The rumor about the sheriff's department taking over the jail floats around every so often. The problem is that all current corrections officers would have to attend the sheriff's academy at State College to become deputized. Even though the new sheriff is a Brown appointee I doubt the would want to authorize a costly measure.

Anonymous said...

1211 AM....the last time our overtime was at a reasonable level was the last time we were fully staffed. 2007 I believe.

Bernie @1040 AM. Not just convicted criminals but pre-trial confinements as well.

0915 PM. The Academy is closed because there is no one to teach [yet]. The County Exec has had a stack of applications on his desk since before he took office...and the "sudden" retirement of the training coordinator.

As for the rest of you, take a month-long walk in our shoes having feces and urine thrown on you....or weapons swung at you because the inmates are high off the latest synthetic they can get their hands on. Until you do, shut up and sleep well knowing that we will continue to do our jobs - sorely understaffed - because we are babysitting those you all threw away.