Burnt out and overworked, this was the observation the director of the Department of Corrections saw first hand when she took the helm at the prison facility.
The solution – a new work schedule for correctional officers with a cap on overtime accrued.
“Everyday, there is a new challenge that we have to tackle as we go on,” Samantha Brennan, DOC director said, adding that the personnel overtime issue has been a concern raised during her confirmation hearing.
“Every officer is allowed to work overtime, we just put a cap on it, on an 80-hour work week. Officers work 86 hours. They have to work 43 hours every week. After the 86 hours in a two week period, then they are offered overtime should they decide to work it,” Brennan said.
The cap on the two week period allows for 34 hours of overtime for each corrections officer.
They started implementing the policy on April 1. According to Brennan, they are now monitoring the overtime closely.
Seeing that the officers were burnt out, Brennan said this prompted the decision to switch to a four-day work week with 12-hour shifts and three days off.
Brennan said the policy streamlines the overtime process and allows the OT to be spread out among the officers. if the 34 hours of overtime is exceeded then the officers have the option to sign a waiver opting for comp time instead of cash.
She says that majority of the officers do not surpass the 34 hours of overtime but for those that do, then the overage is converted to comp time, which allows an officer, who have yet to accrue leave, the ability to utilize their comp time.