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Recent Posts by Treh

 

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Jun 28, 2011
Female user Treh 4 posts

Topic: Security Central / Gang information database???

I work in a facility in KY and our state has recently passed HB463 which is going to have a huge impact on our local drug issues. I work in a region fairly close to Cincinnati, OH, and up until June 8th, the drug traffickers over there stayed in OH to sell their dope because an offense that would get them a year or less in OH would get them up to 5 years here in KY.

Cincinnati is known to have a rapidly growing gang population, and with the relaxation of KY’s drug laws we are expecting to see a significant rise in these dealers and gang members coming over here to do their business. That being said, as part of the classification process, we need to be able to start identifying gang members as they come in our doors so as not to house them with their rivals.

Does anyone know of any sort of online database that provides gang information? My facility has two staff members that attended training on gangs, but that was way before these laws were changed and now we see a need for our staff to be educated on much wider scale. Unfortunately, we all know how tight budgets take a toll on training, so we need to find something that doesn’t require sending our people out.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

 
Jun 28, 2011
Female user Treh 4 posts

Topic: The Club House / 12 Hour Shifts

Deputies in my facility start at $12.50 an hour (which has been the starting rate for about 5 years now), but as I stated before, we currently receive OT pay for the extra 8 hours on the clock every other week. Currently there is no wage scale in place to award increases based on longevity, and we are now getting ready to enter the third fiscal year in a row where the county is not granting a pay increase. I was not intentionally skirting around the issue of pay.

In my local area there has been a lot of talk of deputy jailer’s pay recently as the various counties are trying to get their budgets approved. In reading some of the comments from those news stories, many people believe it comes down to the fact that in KY the jails are run by elected officials given the title of Jailer, where as most other states have their county jails being run by the Sheriff’s office.

As for our coworkers that work the 7p-7a shift, with the exception of 1 or 2 people, they chose to work night shift. And no matter which shift we get assigned to, our rotation gives us ample time off to spend with family now. We work 7 out of every 14 days (on assigned 12 hours shifts). When we were on 8’s, there were lots of times that people would end up working 15-20 days in a row, with a few of those days being 12 hour shifts because of mandatory OT. I can’t speak for everyone I worked with during that time, but I know for me personally, it definitely took a toll on my family time for several different reasons. I was single at the time and lived alone with a house and yard to take care of. The simple solution would have been to just do yard work in the mornings, but that was impossible because my mandatory OT days began at 10AM. Add to that the fact that I don’t live real close to my family, and it made seeing them anytime other than my off days very difficult.

Don’t take my comments as a complaint about the fact that I’m expected to work anytime I’m needed during a 24 hour period. I love my job and work whatever hours I’m needed, mostly without any resentment. Do I suffer from burn out when I end up staying after everyday for a couple weeks straight, yes. Anyone would. But it’s a lot easier to deal with being expected to stay over an hour or two when you know you’re still going to get your days off to be away from that environment. But I love what I do and can’t imagine being anywhere else. My comments were meant simply as an insight as to how this WORKS FOR MY FACILITY. I can’t speak for other places because I have not worked in other facilities and do not know what policies and procedures they have in place. I’m sure that the internal workings of a detention center or prison would make a huge difference is what kind of staffing needs they would have.

 
Jun 23, 2011
Female user Treh 4 posts

Topic: The Club House / Time Off...

I have several things I love to do when I’m not working. I am the chaplain for my local FOP so at times that keeps me very busy, especially since we have had several of our members or their loved ones pass this year. I am also a member of my local chapter of the Blue Knights motorcycle club. I got married almost 7 months ago so I’m also in the process of trying to wade through all of our stuff so we can consolidate what we want to keep and then have a yard sale to rid ourselves of duplicate items (its a pain to combine two households into 1). And when he goes, I follow my hubby to the drag strip to watch him race and to cheer him on.

When I’m not working and when I’m not running here or there for the organizations I belong to, I like taking rides on my motorcycle with my husband, although we do not ride on the same bike together (he just recently began riding and is not permitted to have a passenger until he gets his actual motorcycle license and there is no way he’s riding b*tch on my bike!). We also have 2 fur babies that are more spoiled than most children I know. When we can coordinate our vacation days and when money allows, we also love to travel, particularly to Gatlinburg or Mexico (this year we gave up our trip to Mexico to pay for a fence for the boys).

 
Jun 23, 2011
Female user Treh 4 posts

Topic: The Club House / 12 Hour Shifts

I have worked at a county facility in KY for over 7 years now. When I first started we worked 12 hours shifts and I was initially assigned to work the night shift, 7p-7a. Having taken this job after working in an office with banker’s hours for 8 years, this was quite an adjustment. I managed ok and was able to move to the day shift after about 6 months, which at the time, worked out way better for me.

About 4 years ago my facility decided to switch to 8 hour shifts to try and save money after a huge expansion. Initially the deputies working the floor were assigned specific days off, which we had to bid for based on seniority. It worked out ok for those of us that had a little time in, but for the majority, they were miserable because they never had weekends off. Even those of us that were first in line to pick off days were not permitted to have Saturday and Sunday together. After approximately 6 months of this, we went to rotating days off where our off days moved up one day every 4th week. This meant that every 4th week you had to work 6 days in a row. This also meant that although you would eventually get weekends off, you had to wait 6 months for it to rotate back around and you still had assigned on call days you might have to cover, which no one wants to do when they only get weekends off every 6 months.

We continuted on like this for a little over 2 years. Morale began to decline because we, as deputies, felt that we never had anytime to do anything except work. And although we technically were on 8 hour shifts, due to a high turn over rate and being short staffed almost constantly, we still worked 12 hour shifts at least twice a week. I think this was especially difficult for those of us that were assigned to work second shift (either 2p-10p or 3p-11p). It left us with no time to interact with family and friends outside of work. We either had to cut our sleep short to get up early in the morning to take care of business matters and such, or our families would try to accomodate us by extending get togethers and interrupting their normal routines. I was fortunate not to have a spouse or children at the time, but I still felt like I was missing out on life when I realized I hadn’t seen my baby niece for 5 months because of my work schedule. I do not know how my coworkers with families were able to cope with not seeing their children or spouses because of work.

My facility switched back to 12 hour shifts 2 years ago, and other than 1 or 2 people, almost everyone prefers our 12 hour shift schedule to the 8 hour shift schedule. We currently work 36 hours one week and 48 hours the next, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and then Wednesday, Thursday. Every other week we get a 3 day weekend, and although we still have assigned on call days we may have to come in for, we still have plenty of down time to do what we want and need to do at home. In fact, when staffing is thin, several people even volunteer to come in and work one of their off days to help out. We find that people don’t mind working an extra shift here and there when they are only scheduled to work 7 out of every 14 days. This rotation also makes it very easy to plan events out weeks or even months ahead of time. We are also lucky because the county we work for allows us to receive 8 hours of OT pay on our long week, so long as we have actually worked the entire week and not been off for training, vacation, or sick time.

I know that the statistics show that more errors are made when the work day is extended past 8 hours, but we found, at least with our staff, those that really started showing declining performance were the ones not cut out for this field anyway. I have worked all hours-days, nights, and everything in between. I’ve been called back in after only being off 2 hours from working the night shift all weekend, to assist with cell extractions. I’ve also volunteered to work 24 straight hours because of multiple call offs and not being able to get anyone else to come in for coverage. I know the overnight hours can be difficult, especially for someone whose body is not accustomed to staying up all night. Luckily, most of our staff is on the shift they would prefer.

As for the issue of a person being assigned to a single post for 12 hours straight, we also have a system in place for that. Most of the time, our deputies switch posts 5-8 hours in, depending on where they fall on the lunch rotation. Although my facility does not have a “seg” unit, we do have direct supervision dorms where the deputies are assigned to and can not leave unless relieved by another officer. These deputies are in direct contact with 64-80 inmates the entire time, and during the “quiet time” period at night, the evnviornment is completely silent except for the sound of people snoring. This can make for a very long night since there is really nothing much to do except make your hourly or semi-hourly walk throughs of the bunk areas.

For those that are assigned to the direct supervision units at the beginning of their shift, when they return from their lunch breaks they are assigned to take over in a different housing area where they are expected to be up and moving around. We do have a few single bunk isolation cells, but the majority of the inmates that are not in the direct supervision units are housed in 8-16 person cells. Although these housing areas are there to hold the more violent and noncompliant inmates, they do not have the strict quiet time rules like the direct supervision units. These inmates are usually up most of the night depsite their TVs and phones being off, and require more attention.

We find that moving from one area to another works out well for our staff because the 2 environments are completely different. Most of the deputies welcome the more laid back feel in the dorms, especially if they have been assigned to a particularly active area like booking for the first part of the shift. It also works the other way. For those that are in the dorms first, being in a rowdier setting after spending several hours watching people sleep helps to get their blood flowing again.




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