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What can our agency do about turnover rates and employee retention?

Staff Recruitment and Retention in Corrections

Corrections Today, 2023

Employees are the most valuable assets in corrections, especially when managed, trained, and appropriately utilized for success. Corrections relies on well-trained, experienced, and devoted workforces to provide the most cost-effective required security service to their community and stay on track with the larger mission of public safety.

Employee Retention: Preventing a “Great Resignation” in Your Public Safety Agency

Scism, Rex, 2022

Why are employees throwing in the towel, and how can public safety leaders slow the exodus?

Why Does No One Want to Be a Correctional Officer?!

Carter, TaLisa J., 2022

Being a corrections officer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is one of the least desirable professions in the United States. The attrition rate for US correctional officers is high, with 40 percent of state correctional officers in Texas, for example, leaving their jobs in 2020. Currently, at least 12 states have officer vacancies of 20 percent or more, and Mississippi and Alabama have 50 and 58 percent of correctional officer positions empty.

Countering Threats to Correctional Institution Security

Russo, Joe, Woods, Dulani, Jackson, Brian A.  (2019)

In light of the ongoing challenges the corrections sector faces in countering these threats, RAND researchers convened an expert workshop to better understand the challenges and identify the high-priority needs associated with threats to institutional security.

Building a High-Quality Correctional Workforce: Identifying Challenges and Needs

Russo, Joe, Woods, Dulani, Drake, George B., Jackson, Brian A.  (2018)

This report presents the results of an expert panel discussion focused on identifying and prioritizing ways to address workforce concerns in the corrections sector. Panelists identified needs related to recruitment, selection, onboarding, retention, leadership development, and misconduct that, if addressed, would help to build a high-quality workforce.

The Corrections Profession: Maintaining Safety and Sanity, Part 1

Spinaris, Caterina, Mike Denhof, and Greg Morton, Desert Waters Correctional Outreach, National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Academy, 2014

The webinar will describe a process model developed and modified over several years by DWCO [Desert Waters Correctional Outreach], entitled “From Corrections Fatigue to Fulfillment™.” Once Corrections Fatigue manifests, it can promote toxic adaptations to work demands, consequently undermining job performance, employee morale, health, personal and professional relationships, and employee retention.”

Document ID: 027907

The Corrections Profession: Maintaining Safety and Sanity, Part 2

Spinaris, Caterina, Mike Denhof, and Greg Morton, Desert Waters Correctional Outreach, National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Academy, 2014

This program is the second of a two-part webinar, and covers the physical and emotional challenges faced by correctional personnel. “The dangers correctional staff encounter on the job are well known to their leaders. A lesser known but possibly more hazardous set of factors involves the cumulative negative side effects of what staff experience through daily interactions with justice-involved individuals and immersion in uniquely challenging workplace conditions. Such side effects can be understood as examples of “Corrections Fatigue.”

Document ID: 027908

Organizational Stressors Associated With Job Stress and Burnout in Correctional Officers: A Systematic Review

Finney, Caitlin; Stergiopoulos, Erene; Hensel, Jennifer; Bonato, Sarah; and Carolyn S. Dewa, BMC Public Health, 2013

The results of this review indicate that the organizational structure and climate of correctional institutions has the most consistent relationship with COs’ job stress and burnout. Limitations of the studies reviewed include the cross-sectional design and the use of varying measures for organizational stressors. The results of this review indicate that interventions should aim to improve the organizational structure and climate of the correctional facility by improving communication between management and COs.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Job Satisfaction and Turnover Intent of Jail Staff Throughout the United States

Leip, Leslie A.; and Jeanne B. Stinchcomb, Criminal Justice Review, 2013

"This study analyzes data from a national survey of 1,924 line-level jail staff to assess the impact of both work-related variables and personal characteristics on the intention of employees to resign."

Document ID: 027698

Correctional Officers: Strategies to Improve Retention

Nink, Carl, Management & Training Corporation (MTC) Institute, 2010

"This report explores issues impacting correctional agencies and companies, such as changing workforce demands, a dynamic labor market, predictors of turnover, and various reasons for why COs (correctional officers) leave their positions."

The Future is Now: Recruiting, Retaining, and Developing the 21st Century Jail Workforce

Stinchcomb, Jeanne B.; McCampbell, Susan W.; and Leslie Leip, Center for Innovative Public Policies, Inc., 2009

This "comprehensive workforce planning blueprint" is designed to help jail administrators in recruiting, retaining, and developing leaders.

Document ID: 023688