Working in a prison is not an easy setting even at the best of times, and now with the morale and vacancy levels being where they're at, it becomes a much more difficult place to be. You’ve got long-term correctional officers moving out and less seasoned officers moving in. The inmates understand what’s going on and see the changes. This is already a manipulative environment, and this just enhances that
A spokesperson for the Department of Corrections comments that "there is no staff shortage" and that "all posts are being covered with regular staff or staff on overtime." (keep track of the word "overtime" below)
This phenomena shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone that watched Scott Walker's train wreck of an administration in Milwaukee County. This current story in fact seems to be perfectly consistent with it. Consider some of the following from his failed administration of the Milwaukee County House of Correction:
- Although the Milwaukee County Board had funded more positions at the House of Correction, the Walker administration repeatedly failed to fill them. [Internal Milwaukee County Audits and Memos]
- In the short term it may have saved money but it ended up bringing horrible long term budgetary (runaway overtime), safety and low morale consequences.
- In fact things got so bad on Walker's watch that a federal audit was done on Milwaukee County lock-ups and it absolutely trashed the "administration" of them.
- More runaway Overtime (even after it was identified as a major problem a year earlier)
- Walker's administration of the House of Correction was so bad that he ended up giving away control of the facility altogether.
- Once again, Walker failed to fill fully-funded positions at the facility. [Internal Milwaukee County audits and memos]
- Massive overtime costs and staff morale became reoccurring and serious problems.
- The facility experienced many failures including increased assaults on staff, sexual assault of patients and even a starvation death.
- State regulators repeatedly threatened the failing Walker administered facility.