Jails Staffing v. Population Increase

It’s been a long week, and I am bit by bit going through a transcript that was sent to me that I find stunning.  I’m just dropping this note here so you folks can chew on it a bit…  if I’m understanding what I’m getting correctly….

Prior to the Sheriff taking over and prior to AB109 jail staffing was at 70+ officers per shift.  This was a sustainable staffing level at that time to manage most the of the operations necessary.  They could have used more, but they were able to successfully run operations.

Since AB109 and the Sheriff taking over 600+/- inmates have been added.  Staffing is down to 54  officers/deputies per shift.  And I understand from some sources previously there has been some hokey BS going on with 8 hour shifts and creating overlap on those with 12 hour shifts to make it appear as if there are actually more personnel on a shift than there really is, but 4 of the 12 hours on shift are only partially staffed.  Not sure that is still going on.

As the Sheriff recently pointed out in an interview with SJI, inmates aren’t getting their program time or time out of their cells in general because of “the aging facilities and the frequent problems with plumbing, door locks” which is causing “tensions.”  So, Sheriff, do you think if you added back the 16 staff members per shift that they had prior that maybe the door locks would become a less “tension” creating issue?  Or even added a few more since you now have 600 more inmates?  You were given money years ago by the state to staff AB109 needs, you’re telling us in 2 years you’ve lost that many through attrition and can’t replace them?  Is because part of your “savings” was shutting down the corrections academy until very recently?

I’m left shaking my head — Laurie Smith has had the jails for about 2  years now.  This is what she is perceiving as “better management”?  In the couple of years she’s been on this, she has drastically damaged the system under the guise of “savings.”

And top all this —  rumors are her and her “gunslinger”, Rich Robinson are going to try to blame this mess on Kevin Jensen from what I’ve been hearing for several weeks now.  Because I guess he managed to drive of nearly 23% of the guards on shift without the Sheriff’s knowledge before she even took over.

Sheriff, take those CASU deputies (really corrections deputies) off the street, put them in the jails where their presence and experience is paramount and needed and stop playing games with safety of your personnel and inmates, both inside and outside the jails.