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Doj National Inst of Corrections Prison Staffing Analysis Manual 2008

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U.S. Department of Justice
National Institute of Corrections

PRISON STAFFING

ANALYSIS
A T R A I N I N G M AN U AL
With Staffing Considerations
for Special Populations

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U.S. Department of Justice

National Institute of Corrections

320 First Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534

Morris L. Thigpen
Director
Thomas J. Beauclair
Deputy Director
BeLinda P. Watson
Chief, Prisons Division

National Institute of Corrections
www.nicic.gov

PRISON STAFFING

ANALYSIS
A T R A I N I N G M AN U AL
With Staffing Considerations
for Special Populations

CAMILLE GRAHAM CAMP
WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM

PATRICIA L. HARDYMAN
ROBERT MAY
GEORGE M. CAMP

DECEMBER 2008
NIC Accession Number 022667

This document was prepared under cooperative agreement number 03P25GIY5 from the National Institute of
Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions stated in this document are those of the
authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

CONTENTS


Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix

Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii

Introduction: Correctional Staffing Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xv

Part 1. Laying the Foundation


Chapter 1. Security Staff Deployment Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Chapter 2. Two Models for Managing the Security Staffing Function . . . . . . . . . 7

Chapter 3. Agency Staffing Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Chapter 4. Basic Tasks of a Staffing Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Chapter 5. Orchestrating the Staffing Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Part 2. Conducting the Staffing Analysis


Chapter 6. Agency and Facility Characteristics That Influence Staffing . . . . . . . 29

Chapter 7. Operations and Activities Schedules That Influence Staffing . . . . . . 35

Chapter 8. Developing the Shift Relief Factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Chapter 9. Security Post Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Chapter 10. Special Guidelines for Evaluating Housing Units . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Chapter 11. The Impact of Staff Scheduling on Staffing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

Chapter 12. Staffing Calculations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

Chapter 13. Developing a Staffing Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

Chapter 14. Implementing Recommendations and Monitoring Results . . . . . . 103

Part 3. Special Guidelines and Considerations


Chapter 15. Staffing Considerations for Women’s Correctional Facilities . . . . 109

Chapter 16. Staffing Considerations for Medical and Mental Health Units . . . 121


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iii

C O N T E N T S

Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

Appendixes

Appendix A. Security Staffing for Prisons: Results of

Four Nationwide Inventories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151

Appendix B. Blank Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207

Appendix C. Sample Description of a Department of Corrections

and Its Facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223

List of Exhibits

Exhibit 1. Sample Assignment and Scheduling Procedure: Daily Roster . . . . . . . 5

Exhibit 2. Model Agency Staffing Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Exhibit 3. Staffing Analysis Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Exhibit 4. Example of Form A: Daily Activities for Facility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Exhibit 5. Example of Form B: Shift Relief Factor Based on

Net Annual Work Hours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Exhibit 6. Example of Form C: Shift Relief Factor Based on Days . . . . . . . . . 47

Exhibit 7. Example of Form D: Post Evaluation and Planning Instrument, 

Part 1, Current Post Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Exhibit 8. Example of Form D: Post Evaluation and Planning Instrument, 

Part 2, Recommended Post Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Exhibit 9. Examples of Form E: Recommended Post Modification . . . . . . . . . 56

Exhibit 10. Schematic Design of Two Adjacent Units Joined by a

Control Room and Hallway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

Exhibit 11. Schematic Design of Four Units Surrounding a Foyer 

With a Central Control Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Exhibit 12. Descriptive Statistics for Alternative Work Schedules . . . . . . . . . . 88

Exhibit 13. Example of Form F: Total Staff Required and 

Total Cost by Security Rank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

Exhibit 14. Views on the Medical and Mental Health Needs of 

Female Inmates and the Effect of These Needs on 

Staffing Levels in Women’s Institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

Exhibit 15. Views on the Needs of Pregnant Inmates and the 

Effect of These Needs on Staffing Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114


iv

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CONTENTS

Exhibit 16. Views on the Family-Related Needs of Female Inmates
and the Effect of These Needs on Staffing Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

Exhibit 17. Views on Differences Between Security Staff Duties in 

Women’s Facilities and Those in Men’s Facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117

Exhibit 18. Views on the Implications of Cross-Gender Supervision for 

Female Inmates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118

Exhibit 19. Expectations of Security Staff in Medical and 

Mental Health Units . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123

Exhibit 20. Views on Indicators of Insufficient Security Staffing . . . . . . . . . . 125

Exhibit 21. Views on the Importance of Security Posting Factors in

Special Population Units . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127


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v

FOREWORD


Correctional staffing and workforce issues have been at the forefront of topics ad­
dressed by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) for a number of years. One
way that NIC helps correctional administrators and officials address these issues
is to make informative analyses and training materials available to correctional
professionals so they may better understand effective staffing practices.
Staffing issues have become more critical in the face of reductions in state rev­
enues and pressure from labor organizations and the courts to provide additional
staff to supervise and manage prisoners, particularly those with special needs.
Prison administrators have been searching for precise methods to deploy staff ap­
propriately, effectively, and economically.
NIC’s Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails, now in its second edition, has proven
valuable to jail administrators for years. Numerous prison administrators have
also used this workbook and participated in the Institute’s seminar on prison staff­
ing analysis. Prison Staffing Analysis: A Training Manual With Staffing Consid­
erations for Special Populations makes use of the concepts and constructs of the
workbook and is informed by a number of articles and supplementary materials
from the staffing analysis seminar.
The unique character of this training manual, however, is attributable to research.
The manual benefits from the responses of correctional agencies to four national
surveys that sought information about staffing analysis in general, staffing of
medical units and facilities, staffing of mental health units and facilities, and staff­
ing of facilities for women. Consequently, the manual’s discussions of the staffing
analysis process take current practices into account.
The manual is also enriched by the experiences and best practices of represen­
tatives from exemplary and diverse staffing analysis programs. As a result, it
includes practical staffing considerations for women’s facilities and for units that
house special populations such as inmates who are chronically ill or disabled and
inmates who need residential mental health care.

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v ii

F O R E W O R D

Prison Staffing Analysis presents achievable models for establishing a staffing
function at both the agency and the facility levels. It demonstrates a thorough
staffing analysis process built on sound policy and procedure and structured
analytical methods. The manual also offers detailed guidelines for developing
and evaluating posts and special guidelines for staffing housing units. It will
serve as a substantive training tool and valuable reference for prison administra­
tors and officials who are responsible for assessing and analyzing their facilities’
or systems’ staffing requirements.

Morris L. Thigpen
Director
National Institute of Corrections

v iii

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PREFACE

Modern corrections has come a long way from the days when wardens used their
own rationales for deciding which and how many security staff would work where
and when in their prisons. For many years, the art of staffing was an oral tradition
that evolved in whatever directions were necessary to deal with staff needs and
requests, financial issues, and governmental interest.
All that has changed. The growth of the prison population has required more
complex management of corrections. Decreases in the amount of money available
for government functions, particularly corrections, have led to increased govern­
mental scrutiny of staffing requirements because personnel costs make up the
largest portion of operating budgets. External pressure for more staff comes from
collective bargaining units and prison litigators, while competing governmental
agencies and taxpayer groups think prisons have too many staff. Increasing pres­
sure for accountability has caused correctional administrators to develop methods
to ensure that staffing complements are planned and managed not only for safety,
but also for economy and efficiency.

Sources
This manual adapts the Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails to the prison environ­
ment, adding value by drawing from the following additional sources:
■	

Materials from NIC’s prison staffing analysis seminar.

■	

Nationwide inventories of security staffing analysis practices in facilities and/or
units that house the general population of male offenders and those that house
female, mentally ill, and chronically ill offenders.

■	

Focus group input from staffing analysis and special populations experts.

■	

Numerous publications, departmental policies and procedures, and other mate­
rials pertaining to staffing and populations.

Features
Of special importance to prison agencies will be the agency perspective found
throughout this manual as well as fine details and nuances that come from the

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ix

P R E F A C E

experience of staffing professionals who have developed, implemented, and im­
proved exemplary processes. The manual includes the following features:
■	

Examination of current staffing issues relevant to correctional agencies.

■	

Guidance for correctional managers in setting up security staffing as a systemic
and ongoing function of a correctional agency, including:
• Agency policy.
• Organizational structure.
• Data management.
• Processes for orchestrating staffing analyses at the agency level.

■	

Detailed information on how to conduct a staffing analysis, including:
• Discussion of the characteristics that influence staffing.
• Instructions on how to calculate shift relief factors for use in evaluating posts.

■	

Comprehensive step-by-step instructions and practical application for establish­
ing and evaluating posts that includes:
• Checklists and interview questions that will inform recommendations for
changes to and improvements in posts.
• Tips on writing staffing analysis reports and implementing and monitoring
recommended post changes.
• Discussion of the implications of custody classifications for the appropriate
intensity of inmate supervision.

■	

Special focus on the fine points of staffing housing units, including:
• Detailed, housing-specific considerations.
• Prototypical housing unit staffing.
• The economics of staffing housing units.
• Housing unit diagrams that demonstrate alternative methods of staffing.

x

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■	

The best and current thinking, considerations, practices, and tips with regard to
staffing women’s facilities, mental health units, and units for chronically ill and
disabled inmates.

■	

Tips gleaned from practitioners’ best practices.

■	

A glossary of terms related to staffing analyses.

■	

A comprehensive bibliography.

■	

Prototype data collection instruments that agencies can tailor to meet their
unique needs.

P R E FA C E

Organization
The format of this manual is designed to be suitable for either instructor-led
training or self-administered training on both agency- and facility-level staffing
analysis processes. The guidance in these pages will enable an agency staffing
administrator to set up an agency staffing analysis unit and produce a staffing
analysis report for an entire agency.
The first five chapters, which form part 1, address the elements that constitute the
foundation for managing prison security staffing from the agency level: a policy
for security staff deployment, the method of managing the staffing function (cen­
tralized versus decentralized), the responsibilities of an agency staffing unit, the
basic tasks of a staffing analysis, and the preparation necessary for conducting the
analysis.
Part 2 of the manual, comprising chapters 6 through 14, covers the process of
conducting a staffing analysis. Chapters 6 and 7 discuss how agency and facility
characteristics and operations and activity schedules influence staffing. Chapter 8
describes how to develop the shift relief factor for each facility, an important piece
of information used to determine how many staff should be available to cover all
posts. Chapter 9 takes readers step by step through the basic post evaluation and
planning process, providing detailed instructions on how analysts should review
and make recommendations for all posts in a facility. Chapter 10 lays out special
considerations that analysts must keep in mind when evaluating housing units,
and chapter 11 looks at how staff scheduling affects staffing. Chapters 12 and 13
explain how to perform staffing calculations and how to develop staffing reports
based on the post planning exercise. Chapter 14 concludes part 2 with a discus­
sion of implementing the recommendations made in the post plan and monitoring
results.
The last two chapters in the manual, which comprise part 3, address special con­
siderations in the staffing of facilities for women (chapter 15) and medical and
mental health units (chapter 16). Both chapters examine current security staffing
practices, based on the findings of nationwide inventories conducted in 2004 in
conjunction with the development of this manual. Chapter 15 identifies unique
needs of female inmates that may affect security staffing practices and discusses
considerations regarding the use of male staff in correctional facilities for women.
Chapter 16 identifies issues that may affect the security staffing of medical and
mental health units and discusses how the administrators of these units collaborate
with security officials to address these issues.

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xi

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


This project was spearheaded by the late Susan M. Hunter, who was Chief of the
National Institute of Corrections’ (NIC’s) Prisons Division from 1985 to March
2004, when she died of cancer. She was committed to the adequate and efficient
staffing of prisons in the United States and was extremely interested in and con­
cerned about the adequacy of security staff in women’s prisons and medical and
mental health units. She did not live to see the results of this work, but we present
this training manual to the field of corrections in remembrance of her passion for
excellence in corrections.
Many of the concepts and constructs in this training manual come from the work
of Dennis Liebert and Rod Miller, who authored the second edition of NIC’s Staff­
ing Analysis Workbook for Jails. Much was gained also from Gail Elias and John
Milosovich’s very informative article “Allocation and Deployment of Personnel.”1
Many thanks go to 36 state correctional agencies throughout the nation that
responded to an inventory of their current staffing analysis practices and provided
descriptions of exemplary practices in prisons. Many of these agencies sent poli­
cies and procedures, reports, and materials that have been used in developing this
manual.
Three groups of expert practitioners, chosen from state corrections agencies that
exemplify excellence in staffing analysis, participated in focus groups to contrib­
ute to this work:

Security Staffing Group
Joseph Chapdelaine, Major, Department of Correction, Connecticut
Byron P. Decoteau Jr., Human Resource Manager, Louisiana Department of
Public Safety and Corrections
Judy Rickerson, Director of Human Resources, State of Kansas
E.L. Sparkman, Deputy Commissioner of Institutions, Mississippi
Randy Watson, Assistant Commissioner, Division of Corrections, Maryland
1

Gail L. Elias and John Milosovich. “Allocation and Deployment of Personnel” (NIC Prisons Special Seminar,
Lafayette, CO, 1999).

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x iii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Women’s Prisons Group
Susan Davis, Acting Warden, Robert Scott Correctional Facility, Michigan
Doris Deuth, Warden, Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women
Brian T. Underwood, Warden, Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center, Idaho
Victoria Voris, Major, Indiana Women’s Prison
Pamela Williams, Deputy Director, Correctional Institutions Division, Texas
Department of Criminal Justice, and former warden of the Women’s Facility

Medical and Mental Health Group
Susan Martin, Director, Health Services Division, Massachusetts
Debbie Nixon-Hughes, Mental Health Administrator, Ohio
Robert Powitzky, Ph.D., Chief Mental Health Officer, Oklahoma
James Upchurch, Bureau Chief Security and Institutional Support, Florida

Special appreciation goes to B. Jaye Anno, Ph.D., President, Consultants in Cor­
rectional Healthcare, for her willingness to provide input with regard to security
staffing in medical and mental health units. Her insights were invaluable to the
process and to this manual.
Darrell Alley, NIC Correctional Program Specialist, managed the project and at­
tended and contributed to all focus groups. His support and participation in every
aspect of the project made this manual a cooperative success.

xiv

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INTRODUCTION:
CORRECTIONAL STAFFING ISSUES

There is nothing simple about security staffing issues in corrections—they are
important, they are interrelated, and they are dynamic. Staffing analysis is critical
to facility safety and security and vitally important to expenditure containment. It
cannot be taken too seriously by those who make decisions about an agency’s or
facility’s posts. The important overriding issues for correctional security staffing
are as follows:
■

Risk of harm.

■

Shrinking fiscal resources.

■

Management challenges.

■

Correctional change.

■

External interest and control.

All of these issues point to the importance of ongoing staffing analysis in correc­
tional agencies.

Risk of Harm
Safety is the most talked about issue in corrections.
Supervising inmates in correctional facilities is risky for all concerned. Physical
plants and equipment provide barriers and control as long as there are staff to use
them. Policies and procedures have proven to be powerful control tools in keeping
inmates from harming citizens, one another, and staff in correctional facilities, but
staff must enforce them. Inmates greatly outnumber staff at any given time in a
correctional facility. How many staff are enough to preserve order and maintain
control?
Although risk is not highlighted as a determinant in this training manual, it is
alluded to on almost every page. Much of the decisionmaking associated with
staffing involves how much risk is tolerable. It is clear to everyone who makes
decisions—from the Governor on down—that the number of staff must be suf­
ficient to keep prisoners from escaping and from harming staff, one another, or
the public.

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xv

INTRODUCTION

In all staffing decisions, risk can override any other consideration about adding
or removing staff. Staffing decisionmakers must base their post evaluations and
recommendations on sound correctional principles that emphasize correctional
agencies’ mission to protect the public and to maintain safety and security for staff
and inmates. Having a plan that orchestrates the proper placement and functioning
of all security staff at all times so that no one gets hurt and no one escapes during
facility operations, programs, and services is no small accomplishment.

Shrinking Fiscal Resources
Money is the second most talked about issue in corrections. In government, noth­
ing happens without money, but few are eager to pay for services. Although the
cost of services has soared, governmental revenues did not increase in many juris­
dictions during the past decade. Without enough money to fund agencies at exist­
ing service levels, governing bodies have slashed their budgets year after year. In
addition, competition for shrinking tax dollars increased dramatically during the
past decade, and legislatures forced to choose between paying for education or
for corrections have been more likely to fund the former. It is even more difficult
for taxpayers to think generously about taking care of prisoners, especially if they
believe the money will be used for anything other than keeping the doors locked.
In corrections, staff is the most indispensable, most important, and most expensive
resource. By an overwhelming amount (some say 70 to 80 percent), security staff­
ing dominates corrections operating budgets.1 In an era when corrections is not
a popular area in which to spend money and jurisdictional authorities scrutinize
every tax dollar, correctional agencies look for every opportunity to economize.
In spite of best efforts to improve staffing efficiencies, correctional agencies are
called on regularly to reduce their security forces to lower costs. When adminis­
trators have to reduce their budgets by 5 to 10 percent each year, staff positions
soon become a prime target for cuts.
During the national focus group meetings that contributed to this work, staffing
experts asserted that post plans drive correctional personnel costs even more than
leave policies and practices do. A decision to eliminate a single post in a housing
unit can reduce the budget immediately; for example, a post that operates 24 hours
a day all year long costs, on average, approximately $150,000. Every post an ana­
lyst adds or deletes has significant impact on an agency’s budget.
For some correctional administrators, the pressure increases during each budget
cycle. Budget reductions often continue until the governing body perceives more
risk than can be tolerated. Administrators continuously look for more, different,
and better ways to save money on staffing without reaching an intolerable and

1

Dennis R. Liebert and Rod Miller, Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails, 2d ed. (Washington, DC: U.S. Depart­
ment of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 2003).

xv i

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CORRECTIONAL STAFFING ISSUES

dangerously low level of supervision. Conducting a sophisticated staffing analysis
is their most promising method of examining staffing costs.

Management Challenges
Many management problems are due to a lack of funds that would enable the
manager to have the right people in the right places at the right time doing the
right things. Money, however, is not the only issue. Equally challenging staffing
issues for managers involve post planning, use of leave, staff turnover, and inser­
vice training.
Post Planning
If post planning is done incorrectly, managers may find themselves battling exces­
sive overtime and compensatory time, dissention among staff, job dissatisfaction,
and resignations. Staffing analysts must be able to develop efficient post plans and
to troubleshoot posting problems. Too often, agency analysts rely on historical
post plans instead of considering all posts with an eye toward finding opportuni­
ties for improvement. Knowing which modifications will bring about the most
efficient and economical post plans requires some depth of understanding about
posting. It is important to the manager to make the most of the number of posts
for which the legislature is likely to provide funding. Thus, comprehensive train­
ing for the staff responsible for post plans is critical.
Use of Leave
The use of leave (including unauthorized and unscheduled leave) and other types
of absences (e.g., attendance at training, military service) clearly affects the num­
ber of positions required to cover a post. Serious staffing problems result when
strategies to maximize leave use have been institutionalized. If managers truly
want to minimize the number of positions required to operate facilities, they must
reduce the use of leave across all positions. (Under normal circumstances, for
example, every employee will not use all allowable sick leave every year.) Strate­
gies for reducing the use of leave are almost as important as reducing the number
of posts, because leave use determines how many relief positions are required for
post coverage.
Staff Turnover
Vacancies can dramatically affect the availability of staff to cover posts. Regain­
ing coverage can be delayed by the processes of recruitment (which can last
more than a month), training (a number of weeks), and orientation (with a buddy
officer). Staff resign from corrections jobs for various reasons, many of which can
be advantageous to managers (such as unsuitability for the work, fear of prison­
ers, difficulty with paramilitary authority, and addictions). The types of turnovers
that cause problems are due to stress burnout, too many inmate assaults on staff,
forced overtime, lack of proper training, and lack of quality supervisors. When

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x v ii

INTRODUCTION

problematic turnover becomes a regular occurrence, morale suffers, the word
spreads, vacancies occur, and recruitment becomes difficult.
Inservice Training
Although inservice training reduces the availability of staff to cover posts, effec­
tive and regular training can prevent many staffing problems, such as persistent
vacancies. On the other hand, staffing problems can prevent managers from pro­
viding necessary training. Inservice training should not be seen as a luxury, but as
a necessary component of the staffing function.

Post Plan: A listing or
chart of all permanent
posts in a facility by loca­
tion, primary function,
priority, classification, and
hours of operation.

xv ii i

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Correctional Change
Corrections is not static. Leaders, missions, prisoner characteristics, facilities,
resources, security requirements, programs, and schedules change, and change
frequently. Any of these changes, or others, can prompt a staffing adjustment.
Consider, for example, the following situations:
■	

A new commissioner may redistribute inmates among facilities according to a
new housing unit assignment plan, generating the need to reexamine staffing
in a number of facilities. Any number of leadership and philosophical policy
changes may call for more or less staff.

■	

If more serious crimes are represented in the inmate population, the custody
level distribution may change, prompting the adjustment of the number of units
or facilities for each level. This will affect the number and types of posts in
each facility.

■	

If the average daily population (ADP) increases, more facilities may be needed
and the custody level distribution may change, which also will affect the num­
ber and types of posts in each facility.

■	

If ADP decreases, the number of staff and units or facilities may decrease as
well, or opportunities may arise to raise the level of staffing at each facility.
Decreases in ADP may also change the custody distribution.

■	

If the number of elderly or chronically ill inmates in the population rises, a
facility may need to be dedicated to their care. This shift may diminish the
number of security staff required but increase the required number of medical
care staff.

■	

If the treatment needs of a specific inmate population require a specially trained
cadre of officers who cannot rotate from the unit, inservice training require­
ments will change and the scheduling scheme may be disrupted, which in turn
may require increased staff availability to relieve other posts.

CORRECTIONAL STAFFING ISSUES

■	

If a facility’s design and space configuration are renovated or enlarged, the
number of posts and post descriptions will probably change.

■	

If perimeter security systems are installed to replace staff towers, fewer posts
and positions will be required.

■	

If schedules for meals, visits, programs, or other services change, some posts
may change in terms of their existence, workload, collapsibility, and so forth.

■	

If workforce stability is disrupted by the loss of many positions, the staff’s
behavior may become unstable and unpredictable; for example, the number of
resignations, incidents, and use of overtime may increase dramatically.

Correctional managers must be prepared to accommodate changes that affect
staffing. They may have to redeploy or reschedule staff, request additional staff, or
do whatever is necessary to maintain a viable workforce.

External Interest and Control
Correctional administrators often comment that external forces are as difficult to
manage as the staff and inmates in the facilities. The numerous outside forces that
affect staffing are staggering. The obvious examples are the many laws, codes,
and standards that regulate the management of prisoners and facilities. Staffing
analysts should be aware of these forces and how they affect staffing work. Con­
sider some of the external pressures:
■	

Media coverage of incidents or investigations generates pressure on managers
and higher governing officials to establish posts in perceived trouble areas of a
facility.

■	

Collective bargaining unit agreements may require unrealistic staffing ratios
(e.g., 1 staff post for every 25 inmates), which may translate into overstaffing in
many areas of a facility. Bidding of posts and post schedules has long interfered
with evenhanded decisions about staff deployment.

■	

Court orders or consent decrees/settlement orders may require that post plans
be approved for an indeterminate number of years by a court master, monitor,
or overseer.

■	

State and federal regulations may dictate staffing levels based on principles that
can be at odds with sound correctional practice.2

■	

Standards imposed by sanctioning/licensing bodies may require a specific num­
ber of staff for certain functions.

2
To cite the extreme example, under equal opportunity laws, a female officer might be required to conduct strip
searches of male inmates.

|

x ix

INTRODUCTION

The Need for Ongoing Staffing Analysis in
Correctional Agencies
There is no indication that the staffing issues discussed here will go away. Both
external and internal interests in how correctional facilities are staffed are high,
but external scrutiny and regulation of funding for correctional agencies have
reached a point where staffing resources must be justifiable for a myriad of
reasons at any point in time.
Correctional administrators in a number of jurisdictions slash their budgets regu­
larly. Many of these cuts come from their personal services budget, begging the
question, “At what cost is such a savings to the safety and security of staff and
inmates in the agency’s facilities?” The answer depends on the decisionmaker’s
skill in balancing the needs of security and cost containment. Having a cadre of
staffing experts in an agency or access to correctional consultants who know how
to make posting decisions is critical to safe and economical corrections.

xx

|

PA R T 1

LAYING THE FOUNDATION


Part 1. Laying the Foundation
Chapter 1. Security Staff Deployment Policy 


Policy Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Statement of Authority. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Definitions of Key Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Organization for Policy Enforcement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Forms and Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3

3

3

4

4

6


Chapter 2. Two Models for Managing the 

Security Staffing Function 


Centralized Management. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 

Decentralized Management With Agency Regulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 

Chapter 3. Agency Staffing Unit 


Agency Unit Responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Facility-Level Responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Automation of Staff Deployment Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Training for Participants in Staffing Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11 

12 

13 

14 


Chapter 4. Basic Tasks of a Staffing Analysis 


Learning the Agency and Facility Factors That Influence Staffing . . . . . . . . . . . .
Learning What Goes on Regularly in the Facility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Determining the Availability of Staff To Work: The Shift Relief Factor . . . . . . . .
Evaluating Posts and Proposing a New Post Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Performing Staffing Calculations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Development of Reports for Routine and Special Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Using the Findings of the Analysis To Improve Staffing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

17 

19 

19 

19 

19 

19 

20 


Chapter 5. Orchestrating the Staffing Analysis 


Reason for Conducting the Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 

Preparation Tasks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 


CHAPTER 1

Security Staff Deployment Policy

The starting point for staffing accountability and efficiency is a policy on security
staff deployment. This policy should include the following components: a policy
statement, a statement of the authority for the policy, definitions of key terms, a
description of how the agency is organized to enforce the policy, procedures for
staff deployment, and copies of the forms and other materials used for each
procedure.

Policy Statement
The policy statement expresses management’s approach to the organization and
operation of the agency workforce and should be carefully crafted. The statement
need not be long or comprehensive, but it must inspire confidence that staff de­
ployment will be objective, structured, efficient, economically prudent, consistent,
and fair. Following is an example of an effective policy statement:
[Generic Agency] shall deploy adequate numbers and types of security
staff to ensure the safety and security of staff and inmates, to conduct
security operations, and to secure correctional services, programs, and
activities. Security staff shall be deployed in a uniform, fair, and con­
sistent manner to ensure the efficiency and cost effectiveness of facility
operations.

Statement of Authority
The policy should state the authority behind it, including the official, the statute,
the applicable standard-setting entity, and any agreements to which the correc­
tional agency is bound by courts or other external organizations. For example:
Commissioner’s Office, pursuant to SL 1234. Article 3, State Minimum
Standard 321, ACA Standard 123, Court Order Inmate v. Agency.

Definitions of Key Terms
All terms used in discussing deployment should be clearly defined. It is best
to avoid jargon and adopt professionally recognized nomenclature. Definitions

|

3

CHAPTER 1

should be written clearly and precisely in a way that anticipates and eliminates the
potential for ambiguity, as in the following example:
Master roster: A master roster is a deployment schedule prepared in ad­
vance on a monthly basis for each shift that lists all approved posts and
staff assigned to them.

Organization for Policy Enforcement
The policy should describe how the agency is organized to implement and enforce
the staffing policy. The following questions should be addressed: Will there be a
special unit or department in charge? Will the agency head be involved in drafting
and implementing the actual procedures, or will a deputy, chief of security, or
other official oversee the policy? Will facility-level personnel be active in drafting
and reviewing the procedures, or will agency-level staff have sole responsibility
for creating the procedures? Following is an example:
The DOC Staff Deployment Unit, constituted by a major, two lieutenants,
and administrative staff, will be in charge of implementing staff deploy­
ment procedures, conducting periodic staffing analyses, and making any
necessary modifications to agency staffing plans.

Procedures
The policy should describe how staff deployment will be managed and which
methods and materials will be used to accomplish efficient staffing. The proce­
dures should include enough detail so that even if the policy is not explained dur­
ing training, staff can understand the sequence and requirements of the tasks to be
completed (see exhibit 1, below). If materials/forms are to be used, the methods
for using them should be described in detail and samples included as attachments.
The following types of procedures should appear in the staff deployment policy:
■

Performance of a staffing analysis:
• Frequency.
• Process.
• Materials.
• Training.

■

Development of a shift relief factor:
• Leave and absence studies.
• Calculation of staff availability.

■

Development of post plans:
• Guidelines for post evaluations (prioritizing and classifying posts; calculation
of days; shifts, hours, relief).

4

|

SECURITY STAFF DEPLOYMENT POLICY

• Completion of post evaluation instruments.
• Procedure for adding and deleting posts.
■

Calculation of full-time equivalents (FTEs) required for post coverage.

■

Staff assignments and scheduling:
• Master roster.

Tip: Use the staff
deployment policy and
procedures as a refer­
ence during training and
implementation and to
monitor and evaluate
performance.

• Daily roster.
• Scheduling cycles and patterns.
■

Automation of staff deployment:
• Frequency of data entry.
• Reports available.

■

Production of staffing reports:
• Frequency.
• Topics.

■

Ongoing monitoring and evaluation.

■

Provision for facility-specific procedures.

■

Training in staff deployment:

Findings of the
Staffing Inventory:
Of 35 responding agen­
cies, only 25.9 percent
said they had policies
and procedures that they
thought other agencies
might wish to emulate
(see appendix A).

• Staff to be trained.
• Content of training.
Exhibit 1. Sample Assignment and Scheduling Procedure: Daily Roster
A daily roster shall be completed for each shift in accordance with the
master roster. All post assignments on the daily roster shall be recorded
and any deviations from the master roster during the shift shall be noted.
The daily roster shall be prepared and maintained at the direction of the
shift commander.
Any posts covered by overtime shall be indicated on the daily roster.
For each shift, the shift commander shall certify that personnel for that
shift worked the hours and assignments reflected on the daily roster.
The shift commander shall retain a copy of the daily roster for 2 years.
The deputy warden of operations shall review the daily roster and for­
ward it to the Office of the Warden.

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5

CHAPTER 1

Forms and Materials
Blank copies of the forms used for each procedure should be included as attach­
ments to the staffing deployment policy along with other supporting materials for
completing each task. Forms and materials should be given names that clearly
identify the associated tasks. Blank copies of the forms used in this manual are
provided in appendix B.

6

|

CHAPTER 2

Two Models for Managing the
Security Staffing Function

The management style of the agency’s correctional administrator and the re­
sources available determine how the administrator will organize the security staff
deployment system. There are two basic models for managing the staffing func­
tion: centralized management at the agency level and decentralized management
at the facility level that is regulated by the agency.

Centralized Management
If the agency is large and its organizational structure complex, centralization of
agency functions at a central office and perhaps again at regional offices is likely.
At the central office, there may be a security staff deployment unit made up of
agency security staffing experts who organize and conduct staffing analyses
throughout agency facilities and monitor deployment functions (see exhibit 2).
Not all agencies have such a unit; there are degrees of sophistication nationwide,
depending chiefly on the size of the agency and/or the sophistication of the state
agency bureaucracy. However, even in smaller and less complex agencies, the
administrator can centralize staff management on a smaller scale to ensure that the
staffing policy is observed uniformly across all facilities and that agency funds are
spent economically.
Final decisionmaking concerning increases, decreases, and modifications in
security post plans is extremely important to the agency. The designated decisionmakers, however, may vary among jurisdictions according to the size of the agen­
cy and the complexity of its organization and also its historical staffing practices.
In larger agencies where the division of labor is more layered and more specialists
are on staff, the agency administrator may insist on making the final decisions, but
the deputy administrator for operations or institutions will more likely take that
responsibility, signing off on staffing analyses and studies done by others, whether
agency staff or consultants. In smaller agencies that operate in a less layered man­
ner, the agency administrator may be more directly involved in staffing.

Findings of the
Staffing Inventory:
Of 35 responding agen­
cies, 56 percent reported
having a designated posi­
tion responsible for the
management of staffing
(see appendix A).

Tip: Staffing decisions
should be made at as high
a level in the agency as
possible. The punishment
for overspending and
for negative staff-related
incidents is usually leveled
at top administrators, so
they should make the
decisions for which they
will be held accountable.

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7

CHAPTER 2


Exhibit 2. Model Agency Staffing Function

Sets Staffing Policies
Agency
Administrator
Establishes Staffing
Unit/Function
Establishes Staffing
Analysis Process

Orchestrates Staffing Analyses

Agency
Staffing Unit

Produces Reports
and Presentations

Monitors Staffing Performance

Reevaluates Staffing Regularly

Evaluate Post Plans and
Recommend Modifications

Staffing Analysts

Develop Shift Relief Factors

Choose Appropriate Schedules

Calculate Number of Staff
Required and Compute Costs

__I
Agency Managers

8

|

Implement Recommendations
in Facilities

TWO MODELS FOR MANAGING THE SECURITY STAFFING FUNCTION

Centralized management of security staffing is ideal because it:
■	

Maintains the objectivity of staffing studies.

■	

Provides uniform staffing across facilities.

■	

Facilitates a fair and equitable distribution of staffing resources among
facilities.

The responsibilities of an agency staffing unit are discussed in more detail in
chapter 3.

Decentralized Management With Agency Regulation
Under a decentralized management model, each facility manages its own staffing
and facility wardens are accountable to the agency’s central office for their staff­
ing decisions (and sometimes even their own policies). At the time of an agency’s
budget request or when a staffing issue arises, the agency’s deputy administrator
for operations directs each facility to conduct a staffing analysis. (In many cases,
this analysis is limited to a review of the post plan). These individual facility
staffing analysis reports are then combined to calculate the agency’s operational
budget for the coming year.
A variation on this type of decentralized staffing is regulatory oversight by a des­
ignated person at the central office. Such regulatory oversight may be assigned to
the deputy administrator for operations or invested in a specially designated staff­
ing position. This person scrutinizes facilities’ post plans and receives, researches,
and approves or denies all requests for modifications. Some agencies also have
this person visit facilities periodically to ensure that the staffing is operating
according to the post plan and, if not, to report the situation to the deputy adminis­
trator for operations.
Decentralized staffing management allows the agency administrator to maintain
some control of staffing in the facilities but limits the agency’s ability to organize
staff from a broad perspective and track variations in staffing from facility to
facility.

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9

CHAPTER 3

Agency Staffing Unit

Ideally, one staff person with considerable experience in correctional operations
and hands-on responsibility in staff deployment should be in charge of agency
security staffing. A specific rank is not required, but the person should have
enough seniority and expertise to be respected by facility administrators. He or
she also should have a working relationship with the head of the agency’s person­
nel office (who also may be a candidate for this position if he or she has expertise
in operations).
The head of the unit should have enough trained staffing analysts to bear the
analysis workload for the number of facilities. The unit may employ one or more
permanent analysts, but it may also decide to train staff throughout the agency
who then can be drafted for ad hoc analysis work as needed. The number of sup­
port staff depends on the size of the agency and its facilities.

Findings of the
Staffing Inventory:
Of 35 responding agen­
cies, 74.3 percent reported
that they have formal add­
and-delete procedures that
include justifications and
modifications, and that
these procedures are re­
viewed by higher authori­
ties (see appendix A).

Agency Unit Responsibilities
The agency staffing unit has among its responsibilities the following:
■	

Developing and maintaining all agency policies and procedures for security
staffing and staffing analyses.

■	

Developing and maintaining all instruments and forms to be used for staffing
analyses.

■	

Maintaining all necessary agency documents used for staffing analyses as well
as select documents from each facility.

■	

Approving and holding all established post plans for all facilities.

■	

Researching and advising facilities on all approved scheduling options.

■	

Researching and approving/denying all post deletions, additions, and
modifications.

■	

Tracking all current shift relief factors for all facilities.

■	

Monitoring all current staffing issues in the facilities and patterns that occur
agencywide.

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11

CHAPTER 3

■	

Developing and maintaining automation of security staffing for the agency or,
if the system is not automated, the methods by which the unit receives informa­
tion necessary to track staffing in each facility.

■	

Setting procedures and deadlines for entry of all facility information into the
system (or receipt of reports from the facilities).

■	

Developing initiatives for improvements in recruiting, selecting, and training
staff to address documented problems relative to staff quality, absenteeism,
injuries, and so forth.

■	

Developing formats, outlines, and content types for staffing analysis reports.

■	

Conducting audits of facilities’ implementation of the staff deployment policy.

■	

Planning and scheduling all staffing analyses.

■	

Deploying analysts to conduct staffing analyses.

■	

Dictating the preparation for staffing analyses at the facilities.

■	

Directing the staffing analysis process at facilities.

Facility-Level Responsibilities
At the facility level, the chief of security (or a similar position) presides over
security staff deployment. Although this person is not responsible for conducting
staffing analyses at the facility, he or she is responsible for the following duties in
service to the agency staffing unit:

12

|

■	

Implementing and following all agency policies and procedures for security
staffing and staffing analyses.

■	

Keeping materials used for staffing analyses, such as procedures, instruments,
and forms, up to date.

■	

Maintaining accurate post plans for the facility.

■	

Implementing approved scheduling options.

■	

Requesting deletions, additions, and modifications to posts as appropriate.

■	

Periodically calculating current shift relief factors for the facility.

■	

Tracking all current staffing issues in the facility.

■	

Entering appropriate data into the automated security staffing system or, if the
system is not automated, submitting appropriate reports regularly.

AGENCY STAFFING UNIT

■	

Implementing agency initiatives for improvements to address documented
problems relative to staff quality, absenteeism, injuries, and so forth.

■	

Compiling information in the formats required for staffing analysis reports.

■	

Facilitating agency audits of facility implementation of staff deployment
policy.

■	

Following all facility-level staffing analysis procedures.

■	

Preparing for or scheduling facility availability and participation in staffing
analyses.

■	

Assisting staffing analysts during the staffing analysis process at facilities.

Automation of Staff Deployment Records
Almost all correctional agencies automate personnel records pertaining to issues
such as attendance, payroll, benefits, and performance ratings. Many agencies,
however, keep security staff deployment information regarding post plans, rosters,
and relief computations separate from personnel records. Agencies often enter
post plans, rosters, and schedules on electronic spreadsheets, but probably do not
generate automated computations and preplanned presentations of summary data
that could inform management’s decisionmaking.

Findings of the
Staffing Inventory:
Of the agencies respond­
ing, 38.2 percent said that
their staffing procedures
are not automated (see
appendix A).

Automation enables agencies to record more efficiently the large amounts of
data generated by the security staff deployment system; update master and daily
rosters, post plans, and similar documents; and perform tabulations at regular in­
tervals. Automated data recording can make staffing data available to management
on an ongoing basis, obviating the need to conduct periodic post studies. Agency
staffing experts can continually monitor where the needs are, where the staff re­
sources are, what patterns of change are occurring, and how shift relief factors rise
and fall. In short, they can focus on improving efficiencies and economies.
An automated staff deployment system should provide for efficient recording and
massaging of the data produced by each staff deployment function. The ultimate
goal is to keep all staffing information in a relational database that, if updated
regularly with all ongoing staffing modifications, can produce an array of accurate
reports to inform decisionmaking about staffing. The greater the functionality
of the system in terms of the data it can store and the reports it can generate, the
more sophisticated the staffing analysis it can support. At a minimum, the system
should include the following functions:
■	

A relational database that allows for all desired comparative and relative
computations and statistical treatments.

■	

Reporting that does not require downloading data to spreadsheet applications
and that can draw on longitudinal data.

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13

CHAPTER 3

■	

A graphics capability for presenting tabulations.

■	

Ad hoc reporting capability (i.e., the ability to construct user-specified reports
for particular needs).

■	

An application that relates staff deployment information to relevant financial
information such as salaries and payroll.

Developing database management applications is extremely expensive. For much
less money, human resources applications that can be tailored to an agency’s
needs are available off the shelf from several sources. Numerous organizations
similar in principle to correctional facilities, such as hospitals, schools, industries,
and corporations, have been using such applications for many years. Newer
web-based applications allow a number of facilities to enter data simultaneously
without incurring exorbitant network expenses.

Training for Participants in Staffing Analysis
Training for staff who will participate in staffing analyses is the responsibility of
the agency staffing unit. The training can be self-administered using a document
such as this one or can be taught in a group setting by the person in the agency
who is in charge of staffing analysis.
Participants
Agency-level participants should include the deputy for agency operations/
institutions, analysts, the personnel director, and other staff who support the staff­
ing function. At the facility level, the warden, the deputy for operations, the chief
of security or a major or captain, the administrative captain or lieutenant, and shift
commanders should be trained. All involved parties must understand how a staff­
ing analysis is organized and their role in conducting the process.
Tip: Provide training
certificates to successful
participants, acknowledg­
ing their mastery of the
staffing analysis process.
Doing so not only instills
pride in trainees, but also
sets a standard for those
who aspire to play a role
in the process.

14

|

Training Components
Training components should include an overview of the staffing analysis process
followed by step-by-step explanations of the preparation for and the tasks in­
volved in the analysis. Because staffing analysis involves the use of a number of
forms, the training should explain the use of those instruments and provide clear
instructions for completing them. Trainees must learn how to put together reports,
how those reports will be used internally for ongoing monitoring and evaluation,
and how they may be used by external entities. Training materials should include
relevant articles, reports, and other materials that can help trainees understand the
theories and principles of staffing from a number of perspectives and how other
jurisdictions handle staffing.

AGENCY STAFFING UNIT

Frequency of Training
The frequency of the training depends on how often new participants are brought
into the process. The advantage of self-administered training is that a class does not
have to be set up. When training is self-administered, however, the trainee should
be assigned to a mentor who is available to answer questions and give hands-on
guidance.
Application of principles and processes through practice is an indispensable
training method. What is learned in theory and principle is soon forgotten if not
applied. The person in charge of the training should review what has been learned
with the participant to ensure that the trainee has a firm grasp of the principles,
policies, procedures, and practicalities of the staffing analysis process.

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15

CHAPTER 4

Basic Tasks of a Staffing Analysis

A staffing analysis is an exercise conducted by a correctional agency or facility to
determine the number of security staff required to operate safely and efficiently.
The analysis accomplishes this through a systematic evaluation of what work has
to be done, where, and by how many persons at a given time; what schedule is
most suitable for the work; and how many hours and days an average staff person
is available to work per year.
The entire staffing analysis process is presented as a flow diagram in exhibit 3.
This chapter summarizes the tasks that comprise a staffing analysis. Some are
sequential and others can be done in parallel with others. Each task discussed
here is the subject of a chapter in part 2 of this manual, “Conducting the Staffing
Analysis.”

Learning the Agency and Facility Factors
That Influence Staffing
Staffing is affected by numerous agency and facility factors. At the agency level,
these include mission and goals, organizational structure, the classification sys­
tem, the division of labor among facilities, methods of operation, service delivery,
inmate programs and activities, the budget process and current budget for each
facility, the status of facility physical plants, and policies and procedures relative
to personnel, security, and security staffing. This information tells the staffing
analyst what factors to consider at each of the facilities that are to be analyzed. It
gives the analyst the big picture. Other important elements the analyst must take
into consideration include union agreements, staff-related court orders, and con­
tracted services that may dictate staffing patterns. If special circumstances have
warranted the analysis, that information is learned at the agency level as well.
At the facility level, the analyst has to become familiar with the role the facility
plays in the agency. This requires a review of the facility’s mission statement,
organizational chart, the number and types of inmates housed there, the configura­
tion of the facility’s physical plant and grounds, the layout of the housing units,
its policies and procedures, the facility’s unique operation and activities and pro­
grams, its budget, its staffing issues, its current staffing plan and its current shift
relief factor. Any recent facility-specific changes or facility-specific court orders
are likely to affect the staffing as well. The analyst’s role requires considerable
reading and reviewing of documents in addition to discussions of the facility’s

|

17

CHAPTER 4


Exhibit 3. Staffing Analysis Process

~
External
Entity Calls
for Analysis

I

Agency
Administrator
Directs
Staffing Unit

Staffing
ffi U
Uniti
Schedules and
Orchestrates
Analysis

Assembles
Documents
and
Instruments

Selects
Analysts

Arranges
Logistics

Staffing
Analyst
Conducts
Facility Work
Gathers
Facility
Information
and Schedule

Develops
Post Plans

Develops/
Updates Shift
Relief Factor

Adopts
Appropriate
Staff
Schedules

Performs
Calculations

Determines
Operational
Costs

Staff Required
for Coverage
of Post Plan

Submits/
Presents
Report to
External Entity

18

|

Submits/
Presents Report
to Agency
Administrator

Drafts/
Finalizes
Staffing
Analysis Report

Agency
Managers
Implement
Changes in
Post Plan

Monitor
Staffing
Implementation

Set Date for
Next
Evaluation

B A S I C TA S K S O F A S TA F F I N G A N A LY S I S

current circumstances. (See chapter 6, “Agency and Facility Characteristics That
Influence Staffing.)

Learning What Goes on Regularly in the Facility
The analyst studies the facility’s schedule of daily operations, activities, and
programs because these things affect the number and kinds of posts required
hour by hour. (See chapter 7, “Operations and Activities Schedules That
Influence Staffing.”)

Findings of the
Staffing Inventory:
Of the agencies respond­
ing, 88 percent reported
using a shift relief factor;
69 percent indicated that
they recalculate the shift
relief factor based on
actual leave usage and
absences for each analysis
(see appendix A).

Determining the Availability of Staff To Work:
The Shift Relief Factor
By studying leave and absence records, the analyst can determine how many
staff have to be available on a given shift to cover a post that is always open in
that facility. The shift relief factor may vary according to job classification and
the post schedule. (See chapter 8, “Developing the Shift Relief Factor.”)

Evaluating Posts and Proposing a New Post Plan

Findings of the
Staffing Inventory:
Of agencies responding,
88.6 percent indicated that
they review the operation
of posts on a shift-by-shift
basis (see appendix A).

By studying every security job/post in the facility according to a set of specific
criteria and in relation to one another, the analyst can determine why and where
posts should be located, what the duties of each post should be, and when and
how frequently those duties should be performed. The analyst constructs a pro­
posed post plan that details all of these decisions and specifies the total number of
staff needed. (See chapter 9, “Security Post Planning,” and chapter 10, “Special
Guidelines for Evaluating Housing Units.”)

Performing Staffing Calculations
After evaluating all the security jobs (posts) required in the facility, the analyst
calculates the number of staff required to operate the facility and the associated
salary costs. Briefly, the shift relief factor is multiplied by the total number of staff
in the post plan to determine how many full time staff the facility needs to employ
to cover all posts. Applying average salaries to all current job classifications yields
the cost of the staffing. This figure is the most important piece of information in
the staffing analysis report. (See chapter 12, “Staffing Calculations.”)

Development of Reports for Routine and Special Use
The staffing analysis report is the culmination of the work. Its content varies ac­
cording to the purpose of the analysis (e.g., budget issue, management issue, court
or other external inquiry). A routine report should include the following elements:

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19

CHAPTER 4

■	

The reason for the analysis.

■	

Who conducted the analysis.

■	

A description of how the analysis was conducted.

■	

Agency factors/issues that influenced the analysis.

■	

An executive summary that discusses agencywide issues, findings, and the
aggregate summary statistics of all facilities’ analyses.

■	

For each facility:
• A summary of salient and relevant characteristics such as mission, operations,
programs, services, location and state of physical plant, inmates, and sched­
ule of activities.
• A discussion of shift relief factors.
• A summary of post planning results that includes a chart showing the number
of staff needed for coverage and discusses the nature of substantive changes
in the post plan since the last analysis.
• A discussion of the total FTE requirements and costs of coverage with relief,
by priority for filling the post.
• Implementation plans and issues.
• Appendixes (all post plans and their relief factors and calculations, underlying
documentation, and completed instruments).

(See chapter 13, “Developing a Staffing Report.”)

Using the Findings of the Analysis
To Improve Staffing
The staffing analysis process does not end with the completion of the staffing
report. Managers must decide which recommendations will be followed and
then plan to implement them. As the plan goes into effect, they must monitor the
process to ensure that the changes are being made according to the plan and evalu­
ate whether the changes are achieving the desired results. Managers should see
positive staffing change not as static accomplishment but as an ongoing work in
progress. At each regular staffing analysis, the analyst should learn from what has
occurred during the interval between analyses and look for more ways to improve
the efficiency of the staffing. (See chapter 14, “Implementing Recommendations
and Monitoring Results.”)

20

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CHAPTER 5

Orchestrating the Staffing Analysis

Orchestrating an agency staffing analysis for the first time is a detailed, timeconsuming process, but the effort required will serve the analysts well once the
facility analyses are underway. Once a system is in place, subsequent analyses
will require much less preparation time. The first step in planning is to determine
the reason for conducting the analysis.

Reason for Conducting the Analysis
A staffing analysis should be a matter of agency routine, conducted periodically
as specified by agency policy. Agencies commonly perform staffing analyses:
■	

To determine budget requests for staff funding.

■	

To support management plans for staffing improvements.

■	

In the course of planning for new facilities.

■	

In response to changes in facility missions, inmate numbers, classification
percentages, and so forth.

A staffing analysis may also be conducted on an ad hoc basis in response to a spe­
cific request by the agency administrator or the agency staffing unit director (or the
agency staffing monitor or the warden, as the case may be in terms of organization).
Some of the circumstances in which an ad hoc staffing analysis may be conducted
are:
■	

Budget shortfall (temporary emergency cuts for unforeseen financial
situations).

■	

Across-the-board percentage budget cuts (usually mean leave modifications
and/or post cuts that are effective on a projected date).

■	

Planned reduction in force (a phased approach that includes planning for
projected attrition and gradual post cuts).

■	

Court-ordered analysis (a justification for keeping the current post plan).

■	

State audit (explanation or justification of expenditures).

Findings of the
Staffing Inventory:
Of agencies responding,
71 percent indicated that
their policies require a
periodic analysis of security
staffing. When asked how
often they conduct staffing
analyses, the majority (50
percent) indicated that
they conduct analyses as
needed. About one-third
(31 percent) indicated they
conduct analyses annually
and 9 percent indicated
they conduct analyses
every 2 years. Nine
percent indicated their
policies do not require
staffing analyses at all.

The consensus of a nation­
al focus group of agency
staff in charge of exem­
plary staffing analyses was
that these analyses should
be conducted at least
annually in preparation for
the budget cycle.

It is essential for staffing analysts to understand the reason for conducting the
analysis because this dictates the tasks to be completed, tells the analyst where to

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CHAPTER 5

dig for information, and determines the information to be included in the staff­
ing report. The approach used in a routine staffing analysis will not necessarily
be effective in conducting an analysis driven by a specific ad hoc agenda. An
analysis performed to cut personal services expenditures by a certain percentage,
for example, differs significantly from one performed to accommodate a change
in the number or custody classification of inmates in certain facilities. The staffing
analyst must develop an individual strategy for each agenda-driven analysis.

Preparation Tasks
Whether the analysis is for one, several, or all facilities, agency units must com­
plete several tasks up front to make the staffing analysis run smoothly.
1. 	 Hold a team meeting to plan for conducting the study. At this meeting,
the team should review all of the particulars of the organization of the work,
which must be in accordance with the agency’s staff deployment policy and
staffing procedures. This applies whether the staffing analysts are agency
personnel or external to the agency (e.g., legislative committee members, state
auditors, or outside consultants).
2. 	 Establish who is in charge of the analysis. If the analysis is agencywide, the
head of the staffing unit will be in charge. Individual analysts (one of whom
might also be the head of the agency unit) must also be put in charge of each
facility analysis. Assignments should be made depending on how many ana­
lysts are available to the unit.
■	

The analyst in charge of a facility analysis should not be an employee of
the facility being evaluated.

■	

It is preferable to have more than one analyst working at a facility so that
they can compare judgment calls during post evaluations (particularly when
there is a demand to eliminate posts) and when complicating factors arise.

■	

When assigning more than one analyst to a facility, the analyst in charge
should establish a division of labor to avoid duplication of effort. Econo­
mies of labor can also be realized by giving analysts posting specialties
(e.g., housing, transportation).

3. 	 Set the timeframe for the work. Include specific goals for each day.
4. 	 Decide on an approach for posting the facility.

22

|

■	

Some agencies approach a staffing exercise for a facility as a review of
existing posts to decide how they can be deployed more productively, effi­
ciently, and economically. When necessary, they make modifications to the
existing plan with justifications.

■	

Planners of new facilities or agencies that practice zero-based budgeting
approach the exercise from the point of view that all posts must always be
established as if for the first time.

O R C H E S T R AT I N G T H E S TA F F I N G A N A LY S I S

5. 	 Review the available information for each facility and gather the infor­
mation needed for the current analysis:
■	

Issues and unique characteristics of the facility that were present during
the most recent staffing analysis, if there has been one.

■	

Facility activities and operations schedule produced during the most
recent staffing analysis, if there has been one.

■	

Current post plan.

■	

Current shift relief factor(s).

6. 	 Prepare the instrument(s) that will be used for the analysis. The agency
may already have an instrument (form) for use in developing a post plan. If
so, review that instrument to make sure it will capture all of the data needed
for the post study. If not, devise an instrument for recording each post’s cur­
rent characteristics as well as recommendations for modifying it. (See chapter
9, “Security Post Planning,” for a detailed discussion of the post planning
process, including model instruments that incorporate best practices for docu­
menting post studies from staffing experts and selected jurisdictions through­
out the nation.)

The approach will prob­
ably be different for
analyses being conducted
for special purposes.
For example, certain
categories of posts may
be targeted or there may
be a search for posts to
eliminate.

Tip: If you are establishing
instruments for the first
time, it is important to test
them at an actual facility
and to make appropriate
revisions before using
them agencywide.

Recording current post plan information prior to the post evaluation exercise
allows the time spent at each post to be used in evaluating the post and deter­
mining whether or not modifications are necessary. Similarly, entering current
types of agency leave and absence into the instrument used to calculate staff
availability in advance of the post evaluation exercise will save time when
working on the shift relief factors at each facility.
7. 	 Provide special instructions and/or training, if applicable, to analysts and
participants in the analysis.
8. 	 Make the necessary logistical arrangements:
■	

Print and organize all materials needed to conduct the study.

■	

Set up appointments for interviews and observation.

■	

Set aside time for analysts to meet periodically during the work to discuss
post plan issues and preliminary recommendations so that they can benefit
from one another’s observations.

■	

Assemble the documents that will be needed in conducting the analysis in
an office set aside for the post study work. (See sidebar “Reference Docu­
ments for the Staffing Analysis” for suggestions.)

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23

CHAPTER 5

Reference Documents for the Staffing Analysis
❏ Post orders for every post in the facility
❏ Activity schedules
❏ Operation functions schedule
❏ Agency and facility-specific deployment policies, procedures, and
materials, such as:
❍ Post plans
❍ Master and daily rosters
❍ Staffing patterns and cycles
❍ Shift relief factors
❏ Personnel policies, such as those describing:
❍ Employee behavior
❍ Assignments
❍ Work hours
❍ Compensation
❍ Leave
❍ Grievances
❏ Personnel records of actual leave and absences for a prescribed
number of years
❏ Security policies involving:
❍ Inspection requirements
❍ Inmate behavior control
❍ Inmate delegation/control
❍ Security/facility inspections
❍ Incident management
❍ Responding to disturbances
❍ Prevention of and response to inmate escapes
❍ Searches (including strip searches)
❍ Inmate accountability
❍ Protective segregation procedures
❍ Inmate transportation
❍ Security threat groups
❍ Substance abuse and control
❍ Inmate death or hospitalization

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O R C H E S T R AT I N G T H E S TA F F I N G A N A LY S I S

Reference Documents for the Staffing Analysis (continued)
❏ Security forms/instruments for accountability
❏ Working master and daily rosters
❏ Working scheduling patterns
❏ Recent staffing analysis reports
❏ Facility floor plans, especially for housing units
❏ Pertinent incident reports that are specific to a post (particularly
those involving staff assaults)
❏ Staff grievances related to staffing filed in the past year
❏ Inspection reports
❏ Staffing-applicable memos
❏ Monthly statistical reports
❏ Inmate population projections and capacity reports
❏ Internal audit reports

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25

PA R T 2

CONDUCTING THE
STAFFING ANALYSIS

Part 2. Conducting the Staffing Analysis
Chapter 6. Agency and Facility Characteristics That 

Influence Staffing


Agency Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 

Facility-Level Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 

Chapter 7. Operations and Activities Schedules That 

Influence Staffing


Instructions for Completing Form A, Daily Activities for Facility . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Interpreting Form A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Chapter 8. Developing the Shift Relief Factor


What Is a Shift Relief Factor? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Common Errors in Determining the Shift Relief Factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Calculating the Shift Relief Factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Which Method Should Be Used? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

39

39

42

46


Chapter 9: Security Post Planning


The Purpose of Post Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 

The Mechanics of Post Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 

Chapter 10. Special Guidelines for Evaluating Housing Units


Economic Significance of Housing Unit Posts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Factors That Influence Housing Unit Post Decisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Examples of Housing Unit Designs With Staffing Flexibility. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Prototypical Housing Unit Staffing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

67 

68 

77 

80 


Chapter 11. The Impact of Staff Scheduling on Staffing


Creating a Schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

Using Different Work Schedules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 

Evaluating Alternative Work Schedules. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 

Chapter 12. Staffing Calculations


Calculating Costs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 

Conducting Comparative Analyses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

Lessons for Managers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

Chapter 13. Developing a Staffing Report 


Awareness of Mission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mindfulness of Audience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Demonstration of Credibility. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Points To Be Made. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Logical and Effective Presentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

95 

96 

96 

97 

99 


Chapter 14. Implementing Recommendations 

and Monitoring Results


Implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 

Monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 

The End and the Beginning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 


CHAPTER 6

Agency and Facility Characteristics
That Influence Staffing

Experts in staffing analysis agree that the unique characteristics of an agency and
its facilities determine in large part how staff are deployed. The staffing analyst
must learn those characteristics and keep them in mind throughout the staffing
analysis process.

Agency Characteristics
Much of the information needed to conduct a security staffing analysis, whether
agencywide or facility specific, is found at the agency level. Any consideration
of staffing practices should begin with the agency’s mission statement. Whether
simple or elaborate, the mission statement sets the philosophical and manage­
ment tone for the administration of the organization. The statement outlines the
agency’s policies and management methods, which determine facility-level secu­
rity staffing practices.
The agency’s particular structures and functions also affect security staffing
practices considerably. Reviewing the agency-related information listed below
informs the analyst about what to expect from the agency facilities to be analyzed.
■	

Organizational chart: Chart showing the division of the agency’s responsibili­
ties among its employees according to certain management principles.

■	

Classification system: The risk factors, mandatory restrictions, and processes
used to assign inmates to categories that determine how they will be managed.

■	

Mission(s) of the facilities: The role(s) and goals of each facility within
the agency.

■	

Operations: The control and conduct of security, movement and transporta­
tion of inmates, maintenance, visitation, distribution and monitoring of mail
(including mailroom operations), and other vital functions of the agency’s
facilities.

■	

Services: How services such as food, clothing, laundry, commissary, medical
and mental health, and social services are managed and delivered.

■	

Programs and activities: The types, number, roles, and methods of conducting
programs and activities in the agency’s facilities (e.g., recreational, educational,
and religious activities; vocational training; work details; and industries).

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CHAPTER 6

Tip: If the administrator’s
organization includes a
security staffing unit, that
unit will gather the infor­
mation, instruments, and
other materials required to
conduct the analysis.

■	

Budget function and process: The means for the agency to provide and gov­
ern the funding and expenditures of its facilities.

■	

Personnel policies and procedures: The agency’s methods of hiring and man­
aging staff, including policies regarding positions, work schedules, salaries,
leave, and behavior.

■	

Security policies and procedures: The agency’s methods for maintaining
safety and security for staff and inmates in its facilities.

■	

Staffing policies and procedures: The agency’s methods of deploying security
staff and managing staffing in its facilities (e.g., post plans, post orders, shift
relief factors, post assignments, work schedules) and its methods of enforcing
each of these procedures at the agency and facility levels.

Example of Agency-Generated Information 

for a Facility Staffing Analysis

When a staffing analyst learns that a 500-bed facility receives and classi­
fies sentenced males from county jails, serves as the transportation hub
for the agency, and is required under a court order to employ new suicide
prevention procedures, the analyst immediately knows the facility must
employ adequate staff with specialized skills to:
■	

Manage its 500 inmates according to maximum-security procedures
(because it is a reception center).

■	

Observe incoming inmates under suicide watch constantly or at 

specified intervals.


■	

Assess the custody, medical, program, and mental health needs of 

the inmates. 


■	

Transport the inmates to their assigned facilities throughout the 

state. 


Facility-Level Characteristics
In addition to the agency-level information, detailed information is required for
each of the facilities for which a staffing analysis is to be conducted. This infor­
mation includes the mission of the facility, its organizational structure, the inmate
population, the facility design, operations and activities, the current functioning of
the facility, and several external factors as well.

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A G E N C Y A N D FA C I L I T Y C H A R A C T E R I S T I C S T H A T I N F L U E N C E S TA F F I N G

Facility Mission
The facility’s mission statement describes its role within the agency, specifically:
■	

Its function (e.g., reception, general population, special program(s), work re­
lease, prerelease).

■	

The nature and number of the population housed (e.g., males, females, custody
classification(s), special populations).

■	

The unique operations, services, and programs the facility provides for the
agency or the state (e.g., laundry services, vehicle maintenance, transportation
hub, industries offered, etc.).

■	

Particular court-ordered requirements, if applicable.

Tip: Some agencies/
facilities keep organization
charts that list all staff posi­
tions and/or posts accord­
ing to hierarchy; these are
helpful complements to
post plans for an analysis.

This information gives an overview of the kinds of staff the facility employs and
the types of security duties the staff perform.
Current Organizational Structure
Analysts should review the organizational structure of the facility to see how,
where, and when security staff are currently used.
Inmate Population
Information about the facility’s inmates will give the analyst perspective about the
numbers and types of inmates being housed and taking part in services, activities,
and programs and the types and degrees of supervision required. Information may
include:
■	

Current number of inmates.

■	

Average daily population for the past few years.

■	

Breakdown by category:
• Gender.
• Age.
• Custody classification.
• 	 Special needs populations.
• Special separations.

Facility Design
The design of the facility and its grounds also affect staffing decisions. Staffing
analysts must consider the following characteristics of the facility’s physical plant:
■	

Design capacity: The number of inmate beds, in conjunction with several other
factors, heavily affects staffing determinations, particularly if the facility is
operating well above capacity.

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CHAPTER 6

Example of Impact
on Staffing: Facilities that
house high-risk inmates
(e.g., maximum or supermaximum custody inmates)
require more security
procedures, which in turn
require more officers to
perform security tasks than
facilities that house lower
custody inmates.

Example of Impact
on Staffing: A facility
that sits on a large tract
of land with many build­
ings, a towered perimeter,
several perimeter breaches
to be supervised, difficult
sightlines, many control
stations (fixed posts), and
several inmate pathways
to various program and
service facilities requires
more security staff than a
facility with minimal acre­
age, few buildings, and
less complicated physical
characteristics.

■	

External boundaries: The acreage, footprint of the facility, and perimeter
(including sightlines, use of towers or intrusion devices, and gates and sallyports) determine the number of staff who must maintain security from illegal
exit and entry.

■	

Security level (maximum, medium, minimum, community): Facilities are
built or renovated based on the agency administrator’s decision as to which
custody classification(s) will be housed there. Preferably, the security classifi­
cation of the physical plant (including perimeter, administrative and program/
service buildings and housing units) will be reflected in the “hardness” of the
construction. The higher the custody level of the inmates housed, the higher the
security level of the construction. A facility that will house inmates classified as
maximum custody requires maximum-security construction and sophisticated
technology. Higher security level construction is almost always more staff
intensive than lower security level construction.

■	

Internal boundaries: Boundaries between buildings inside the security peri­
meter (e.g., housing units, gym) and buildings outside the security perimeter
(e.g., administration, visiting center) require at least intermittent security staff
surveillance, as do gates and/or sallyports between internal security zones (e.g.,
separating administration, programs, and services from housing, industries
yard, maintenance, warehouse, etc.). The amount of surveillance depends
largely on the configuration.

■	

Areas for surveillance and supervision within the perimeter: The locations
of fixed control points/stations/rooms; pathways for controlled movement;
location, number, function, and size of program and service facilities and hous­
ing; and their relationships with and proximity to one another directly affect the
types and numbers of posts required to maintain security.

■	

Inmate housing design: Numerous features of housing design affect staffing
requirements:
• 	 Construction type, i.e., “hard” or “soft” materials, as dictated by custody
level. (Hard construction, used for maximum security, includes reinforce­
ments such as solid steel rods and additional concrete in walls as well as ad­
ditional security fixtures. Soft construction, used for minimum security, does
not have these enhancements.)
• 	 Single bed, double twin beds, or dormitory beds (commensurate with 

custody level).

• 	 Number of types of housing represented in the facility.
• 	 Housing prototype(s): design(s) used in more than one facility in the agency.
• Rated capacity.
• 	 Operational supervision type: direct or indirect.
• 	 Locking method(s): electronic and/or keyed, control panels, redundancies.

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A G E N C Y A N D FA C I L I T Y C H A R A C T E R I S T I C S T H A T I N F L U E N C E S TA F F I N G

• 	 Traditional or unit management design (offices for counseling, sick call, and
in-unit education and group areas for semiautonomous unit functions).
• 	 Number, type, and location of hygiene facilities.
• Presence, configuration, and use of dayroom space.
• 	 In-unit dining facilities.
• 	 Recreation area (in the unit, adjacent to the unit, remote from the unit).
• 	 Presence of staff station and accoutrements (e.g., control room, office, po­
dium, desk, table, log book, computer, locking panel, keybox) and their use.
• 	 Presence of observation, listening, and other security aids (e.g., mirrors,
special lighting, intercom system, sound baffling, panic buttons).
Operations and Activities
The types and frequency of facility operations and activities determine the func­
tion, workload, shift coverage, schedule, and priority of posts. The scheduling,
sequence, and interaction of the activities must be coordinated with how posts are
situated. Examples of operations and activities follow:
■	

Routine operations (e.g., head counts, security checks, movement, escorts,
callouts, transportation runs, meals, sanitation, maintenance, work details,
searches, disciplinary hearings).

■	

Services and activities (e.g., sick call, clinics, recreation, visitation, volunteers,
religious activities).

■	

Programs (education, vocational programming, Alcoholics Anonymous,
Narcotics Anonymous, substance abuse services, anger management).

Example of Impact
on Staffing: A hous­
ing design with many
functional components
to accommodate out-of­
cell activities is likely to
increase the workload of
the post considerably and
may require more than
traditional staffing for a
space of its size; however,
the workload and security
issues can be offset by
security accommodations
and supervision aids built
into the facility’s design.

In addition to reviewing the types of operations and activities, staffing analysts
should also review the facility’s schedule of activities to gauge the work of posts
throughout the facility (see chapter 7).
Current Functioning of the Facility
The staffing analyst should know any facility-specific, staff-related issues that
may affect deployment, such as:
■	

Budget.

■	

Attrition, by rank, over the past 5 years.

■	

Hiring issues, such as barriers to or benefits of hiring new security staff
(e.g., location, competition with other facilities or agencies, staff diversity).

■	

Attendance issues (e.g., overtime, sick leave abuse).

■	

Number and types of critical incidents, their locations, and staff injuries during
the past 5 years.

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33

CHAPTER 6

■	

Staff grievances concerning deployment, overtime, training, and so forth.

■	

Current shift relief factor.

■	

Current post plan, schedule, and shift rosters.

Externally Imposed Staffing Factors
Facility administrators may have little or no control over the modification of
agency and/or facility policies and procedures, the modification or expansion of
the facility’s mission, increases in workload, adjustments to work hours and leave
limits, or the imposition of new laws or administrative regulations, but such exter­
nal factors have significant ramifications for staffing. Following are a few of the
sources of externally imposed staffing factors:
■	

State/agency mandate for budget reductions.

■	

Personnel agreements and union contracts.

■	

State and professional standards (e.g., American Correctional Association
standards) applicable to the facility.

■	

New laws regarding provision of services for inmates.

■	

New administrative regulations governing staff workload, holidays, classifica­
tions, and so forth.

■	

Change in the agency’s mission.

■	

Change in the agency’s administrator.

■	

Contracts for services and other functions at the facility.

Recognition and consideration of these external factors are critical to ensuring that
the recommended staffing plan is feasible and acceptable to the facility and the
agency and will not encounter undue resistance from staff.

Summary
Together, the agency and facility characteristics discussed in this chapter offer a
clear picture of the existing state of affairs. Collecting, analyzing, and logically
arranging this information for presentation lays the foundation for the staffing
analysis. For an example of such a report, see appendix C, “Sample Description
of a Department of Corrections and Its Facilities.” Subsequent staffing analyses
should review and update this material.

34

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CHAPTER 7

Operations and Activities Schedules
That Influence Staffing

The number and types of operations, programs, services, and activities that occur
routinely in a facility during a 24-hour period (and across the 7 days of the week)
also influence the number and kinds of posts required hour by hour. Analysts
should evaluate the capacity of existing post plans to handle current activity levels
effectively and, if applicable, recommend schedule modifications to improve
staffing efficiency.
Many facilities chart and post activities and make this information widely avail­
able to security staff. Often, both a daily activity schedule and a weekly schedule
showing intermittent and weekend activities are posted. If the facility does not
provide operations and activities schedules, the staffing analyst will need to draw
up a chart with this information to work with during the posting procedures of the
staffing analysis. Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails outlines how to develop
a facility activities schedule and provides a form for that purpose.1 That form has
been adapted for this manual as form A: Daily Activities for Facility to reflect a
prison facility’s typical day (exhibit 4). A blank copy of this form is provided in
appendix B.

Instructions for Completing Form A,
Daily Activities for Facility
Use the blank copy of this form included in appendix B to record daily and week­
ly events at the facility being analyzed.2 If operations and activities on weekends
vary significantly from those on weekdays, complete two separate schedules, one
for Monday through Friday and one for Saturday and Sunday. Another option is to
note on the form the days on which each activity occurs.
In the left column, record specific activities, tasks, or operations that occur at least
once each week. Consider the following list as a starting point:

1

Dennis R. Liebert and Rod Miller, Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails, 2d ed. (Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 2003).

2
The instructions for completing Form A: Daily Activities for Facility, are adapted from Dennis R. Liebert and
Rod Miller, Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails, 2d ed. (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National
Institute of Corrections, 2003), page 11.

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35

CHAPTER 7

Tip: To the extent that the
activity schedules of the
housing units are not syn­
chronized with the facility’s
schedule, the analyst may
have to recommend sched­
ule changes for housing
units as well. See chapter
10, “Special Guidelines for
Evaluating Housing Units.”

■	

Operations functions: Counts, shift changes, escorts, transports.

■	

Support functions: Laundry exchange, commissary distribution, food service,
maintenance.

■	

Programs: Education, vocational training, industries, work programs (yard
care, building cleaning, kitchen labor, laundry labor, maintenance labor).

■	

Activities: Visiting, attorney visits, recreation, religious services, library, law
library.

■	

Professional services: social services appointments, counseling, group therapy.

■	

Medical and mental health services: Sick call, medical appointments, special
clinics, medication administration.

■	

Intermittent activities: Classification reviews/hearings, parole board hearings,
disciplinary hearings, special visits, courts.

Several of these common activities are already listed in the “Activity” column
of form A. If the facility being evaluated has regular activities and events not
listed on form A, add them to the form.
After listing all relevant activities on the form, enter the actual times and duration
for each activity in the space provided in the left column. Activities that take only
a few minutes will look different from longer activities. For example, inmate
counts might be recorded as points in time at 0200, 0600, 1200, 1800, and 2200,
and visiting might be recorded as a block of time from 0800 to 1530.
For each activity, shade in the timeframes on the form that correspond to the usual
scheduling of the activity. If the activity does not occur daily, note the days on
which it occurs next to the activity in the lefthand column, as shown in exhibit 4.

Interpreting Form A
When the form is completed, examine it carefully. Look for periods of high activ­
ity. Read down the columns that represent the time of day. Focus on times and
days that are unusually busy and those that are very light. Determine if the weekly
schedule needs to be revised to redistribute activities from busy to slower times.
This exercise usually identifies important improvements that can be made to the
facility schedule, such as rescheduling certain activities to level out peak periods
during the week or changing policies and procedures. The staffing implications
of these decisions will become apparent when the post plan is developed. At that
time, it may be necessary to revise the facility’s activity schedule if corresponding
demands on staff are too high during certain times.

36

|

Religious Activities (S, S)
Times: 0900–1100

Classification Hearings (M, W, F)
Times: 0900–1100

Disciplinary Hearings (M, W, F)
Times: 1300–1500

Alcoholics Anon. (T, F)/Narcotics Anon.
(M, W)
Times: 1800–1930

Group Therapy, Cognitive (M, Th)
Times: 1800–1930

Social Services Interviewing (M–F)
Times: 1000–1200, 1600–1800

Library, Law Library (M–F)
Times: 0900–1130, 1300–1530

Recreation and Leisure
Times: 0900–1130, 1300–1530

Commissary (M, Th)
Times: 1600–1700

Medication Administration
Times: 0700–0800, 1200–1300, 1700–1800

Special Clinics (M, W, F)
Times: 0830–1130

Sick Call
Times: 0900–1100

Attorney Visits (M–F)
Times: 0800–1530

Visiting (M–F)
Times: 0800–1530

Work Details (M–F)
Times: 0800–1130, 1230–1530

Industries Operations (M–F)
Times: 0800–1130, 1230–1530

Vocational Training Classes (M–F)
Times: 0900–1130, 1300–1530

Education Classes (M–F)
Times: 0900–1130, 1300–1530

Scheduled Transports (M–F)
Times: 0800

Food Service
Times: 0600, 1200, 1700

Counts
Times: 0200, 0600, 1200, 1800, 2200

Shift Change/Briefing
Times: 0645, 1445, 2245

Activity
0:00

1:00

2:00

3:00

4:00

5:00

6:00

Exhibit 4. Example of Form A: Daily Activities for Facility
7:00

8:00

9:00

10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

OPERATIONS AND ACTIVITIES SCHEDULES THAT INFLUENCE STAFFING

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37


CHAPTER 8

Developing the Shift Relief Factor

With the information on agency and facility characteristics, operations, and activi­
ties in hand, the staffing analyst is ready to begin developing the shift relief factor
(SRF). This chapter discusses the information required to calculate shift relief
factors, common errors and how to avoid them, and two calculation methods.

What Is a Shift Relief Factor?
The shift relief factor is the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff needed to
fill a relieved post (one that is covered on a continuous basis) for a single shift.
This number may vary according to job classification and the post schedule. In
staffing calculations, the shift relief factor is multiplied by the number of staff
assigned to a specific post to determine the number of staff necessary to provide
relief for the post. The SRF is an essential tool in developing and managing staff­
ing plans and employee schedules.
Four basic variables are considered in determining the shift relief factor:
■	

How often and how long posts are to be filled.

■	

Number of days per week posts are authorized to be filled.

■	

Whether the post must be relieved to keep it filled during the shift
(e.g., meal relief, scheduled “breaks”).

■	

Leave and absence patterns of the workforce, including both paid and
unpaid leave.

Common Errors in Determining the
Shift Relief Factor
Even if a correctional agency’s personal services budget is sufficient to fund the
total number of security staff required to keep posts filled, facilities may fail to
maintain required coverage and consequently need to resort to using overtime.
When overtime is regularly needed to cover posts, the reason most often is that
the shift relief factor has been miscalculated or calculated using old data.
When calculating the shift relief factor, correctional managers have traditionally
used their leave policies and training requirements to determine the time an

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39

CHAPTER 8

Note: This training
manual does not include
the calculation of coverage
for nonsecurity posts and/
or positions, but the same
principles apply equally
to them.

employee would be unavailable to work. That method is not precise and leads to
error because employees’ records of absence may differ significantly from expect­
ed absences that are based on policy. A much more precise method of calculating
the number of days an average security employee is available to work is to review
attendance records from the previous year, or even several years past, to ascertain
the actual use of all forms of leave and thereby discover trends and anomalies.
Many agencies that determine averages of the actual utilization of leave when
calculating the average number of days staff are available to work make the
mistake of limiting their data to leave specified by policy (e.g., vacation and sick,
military, and bereavement leave), thereby overlooking the types of absences over
and above the leave normally taken. In Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails,
Liebert and Miller remind the analyst of other categories of time off that should
be taken into account:1

Tip: Agency staffing
managers can use facilityspecific shift relief factors
to promote healthy com­
petition between facilities
to lower their shift relief
factors. Competition mo­
tivates facility administra­
tors (wardens) to develop
strategies to improve
staff leave management,
which lowers the shift
relief factor. Rewards can
be useful as well and will
add to the competition.

40

|

■

Preservice and inservice training time.

■

Long-term medical disability.

■

Provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

■

Light-duty assignments required for injured staff.

■

Leave without pay.

■

Time away from the job while on special assignment.

■

Time needed to fill a vacancy.

■

Jury duty.

■

Workers’ compensation time off.

■

Use of compensatory (comp) time.

■

Unexcused absences.

Days of availability may vary from one facility to another and will reflect dif­
ferences in job classification or rank (e.g., major, captain, lieutenant, sergeant,
officer). These differences affect the shift relief factor. As staff gain seniority and
advance to higher rank, their leave time increases. Conversely, entry-level and
junior staff have less vacation time and can be expected to take less leave.
In facilities in which correctional officers use leave heavily, the correctional of­
ficer posts will require more staff to fill them, resulting in a higher shift relief
factor. Other factors that can lead to higher use of sick leave, compensatory time,

1

Dennis R. Liebert and Rod Miller, Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails, 2d ed. (Washington, DC:
U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 2003), page 8.

D E V E L O P I N G T H E S H I F T R E L I E F FA C T O R

and other forms of leave, thereby resulting in a higher shift relief factor, are facil­
ity location, retention, recruitment, low staff morale, recent schedule changes, and
increased use of overtime to fill posts.

Using Reliable Data
A relief factor is only as good as the data on which it is based. Before
calculating a shift relief factor, the analyst should ask the following im­
portant questions:
■	

Is the information current? Before using an existing shift relief factor
or when calculating a new one, make sure the information being
used is current. Once a shift relief factor is established, it should be
updated annually using the same method.

■	

Are the data based on actual experience? Use the records of current
employees to determine the actual levels of leave utilization at each
facility. Estimating important statistics such as training or sick leave
on the basis on policy rather than actual practice can reduce the ac­
curacy of the shift relief factor.

■	

Are all types of nonduty hours included? The current formula may
recognize most types of nonduty hours. However, it may not include
military leave and may underestimate training because initial (preser­
vice) training is not fully included.

■	

Are there variations between facilities? To account for significant
variations in utilization of leave between facilities, calculate a
separate shift relief factor for each facility based on data derived
from that facility’s employee records. For example, if average yearly
utilization of sick leave per officer is 8.25 days at one facility and 12.0
days at another, but the current shift relief factor assumes 10 days
per officer at every facility in the department, some facilities will be
authorized to hire more staff than they actually need while others
will lack sufficient officers to cover their posts.

■	

Are there variations between ranks? Calculate separate shift relief
factors for officers and supervisors (e.g., sergeants, lieutenants,
captains, majors). Because supervisors generally earn more days of
annual leave than line officers, their rate of leave utilization will
likely be significantly higher. For example, if the average utilization
of annual leave is 10.5 days for correctional officers but 22 days for
supervisory staff, but the agency uses an estimate of 10 days of an­
nual leave for all staff to calculate the shift relief factor, the number
of positions authorized likely will not be sufficient to cover annual
leave. Calculating one shift relief factor for all levels of staff is also
likely to lead to underestimating the number of supervisors needed.
Continued on next page.

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41

CHAPTER 8

See chapter 11 for a more
detailed discussion of how
different schedules affect
staffing.

Using Reliable Data (continued)
■	

Have variations between leave schedules been considered? Calcu­
late separate shift relief factors for each leave schedule because the
total number of days or hours worked per year is not the same for
all schedules. For example, staff working a 5/2 schedule work 261
days per year (before leave is deducted), while staff working a 6/3
schedule work only 245 days per year. Thus, the total annual hours
worked may be equivalent, but because of the overlap between
schedules, there may still be a need for more staff positions to cover
the days during the year when individual staff are not working. The
state or county may balance out the total time, but the discrepancies
between schedules will still affect the required coverage levels. Each
schedule has a premium, and schedules other than 5/2 require more
staff but may have benefits that offset this premium.

These variables make updating the shift relief factor periodically, using the most
recent leave data available, a matter of critical importance. Accurate calculation of
staffing requirements depends on using the appropriate shift relief factors for each
job classification and for each facility.

Calculating the Shift Relief Factor
Consider the following scenario: A post in a prison control room is staffed 24
hours a day on three shifts, 7 days a week. More than three employees must be
available to fill this post because any one employee assigned there cannot always
be present. Employees are entitled to regular days off and leave of various sorts,
as well as training days away from the post. Thus, more than three must be as­
signed. But how many? How does one calculate precisely how many people to
employ for that post, avoiding the use of overtime to keep it occupied?
The shift relief factor has traditionally been calculated by dividing the number of
days per year a post needs to be staffed by the number of days per year an em­
ployee is available for assignment to the post, and this formula has been the most
popular method for planning coverage of security posts among state correctional
agencies. This manual includes a less traditional formula for calculating shift
relief factors based on net annual work hours (NAWH), a method of calculat­
ing staff availability introduced by Dennis R. Liebert and Rod Miller in Staffing
Analysis Workbook for Jails.2
NAWH is the number of hours staff are employed to work per year (e.g., 40
hours per week ✕ 52.14 weeks per year) minus the average number of hours a
staff person is unavailable to work per year. Because NAWH is based on hours,
2

42

|

Liebert and Miller, Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails, 2d ed. (2003) pages 8–9.

D E V E L O P I N G T H E S H I F T R E L I E F FA C T O R

it can be a bit more precise a calculation that sometimes yields a more accurate
estimate of staff availability. Liebert and Miller note that, “Calculating an ac­
curate NAWH will help control such costs as overtime pay, because realistic and
accurate figures will be used to calculate the number of FTEs required to provide
needed coverage.”3

Shift relief factor: The
number of full-time­
equivalent staff needed to
fill a relieved post (one that
is covered on a continuous
basis) for a single shift.

Jail administrators have found NAWH to be a valuable tool for staffing analysis,
primarily because jail staff time is more likely to be recorded in hours rather than
days. The next section presents instructions for using NAWH to calculate a shift
relief factor.
Calculating the Shift Relief Factor Using
Net Annual Work Hours
The formula for calculating the shift relief factor for a single shift using NAWH is
similar to the traditional formula that uses days:
Traditional shift relief factor:	

Days/year post is staffed ÷ available
workdays/year.

Shift relief factor based on NAWH:	 Hours/year post is staffed ÷ NAWH.
There are three basic steps in calculating shift relief factors using NAWH:
1. Calculate NAWH to determine the average number of hours staff are available
to work per year.
2. Calculate the number of hours the post must be staffed per year.
3. Divide the number of hours the post must be staffed per year by the NAWH.

Tip: It may be necessary to
convert days to hours, as
many employee contracts
are based on days (days
off, training days, etc.).
Usually 1 day equals 8
hours; however, if staff are
contracted to work more
than a standard 40-hour
week, remember to adjust
calculations accordingly.
For example, a 43-hour
contract week would yield
an 8.6-hour day.

Form B, “Shift Relief Factor Based on Net Annual Work Hours,” provides a for­
mat for performing these calculations. A completed example of form B is shown
in exhibit 5. The form and the following instructions for using it are adapted from
Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails.4 A blank copy of form B is available in
appendix B.
Calculate NAWH to determine staff availability
1. Enter the total number of hours an employee is contracted to work per year 

(line 1).

2. For each job classification that applies to the post, enter the average number
of hours of leave or absence per year in all applicable time-off categories
(lines 2 through 17). Complete each line of the form. If an item is not appli­
cable, enter “NA.”

3
4

Liebert and Miller (2003), page 9.
Liebert and Miller (2003), pages 8–10.

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43

CHAPTER 8

Exhibit 5. Example of Form B: Shift Relief Factor Based on Net Annual Work Hours
Major

Captain

Calculate net annual work hours (NAWH):

Lieutenant

Sergeant

Correctional
Officer

Hours

1. Total hours contracted per employee per year (If a regular
workweek is 40 hours, then 40 X 52.14 weeks = 2,086.)

2,086

2,086

2,086

2,086

2,086

2. Average number of vacation hours per employee per year

134

117

115

111

94

3. Average number of holiday hours off per employee per year

104

104

104

104

104

4. Average number of compensatory hours off per employee per year

101

80

65

58

65

5. Average number of sick leave hours off per employee per year

55

46

36

56

85

6. Average number of training hours off per employee per year

24

25

24

24

32

7. Average number of personal hours off per employee per year

14

4

5

12

14

8. Average number of military hours off per employee per year

1

1

2

2

6

9. Average number of meal hours per employee per year
(only used if post is relieved)*

0

0

0

0

104

2

1

0

3

4

10. Job injury/Workers Compensation leave
(not included in sick leave or other category)
11. Average number of hours of leave without pay
(including Family and Medical Leave)

1

1

3

4

4

12. Average number of hours of relief-from-duty leave (with or without pay)

0

0

0

2

6

13. Average number of hours of funeral/bereavement leave

1

1

1

0

0

14. Average number of hours of unauthorized absence

0

0

0

0

0

15. Average number of hours of unearned/executive leave

2

0

0

0

0

16. Average number of hours of vacancies until positions are filled

6

4

13

4

3

17. Other
18. Total hours off per employee per year (Add Lines 2 through 17.)
19. Net annual work hours (Subtract Line 18 from Line 1.)

0

0

0

0

0

445

384

367

380

521

1,642

1,702

1,719

1,706

1,565

8

8

8

8

8

Calculate the number of hours the post must be staffed per year:
20. Hours in basic shift
21. Shifts per day

1

1

1

1

1

22. Days per week

5

5

5

5

5

2,086

2,086

2,086

2,086

2,086

23. Total hours post staffed per year (Line 20 X Line 21 X Line 22 X 52.14)

Calculate the shift relief factor (SRF):
24. SRF for 5-day post, one 8-hour shift:
Line 23 (hours post staffed per year) ÷ Line 19 (NAWH)

Full-time-equivalent staff
1.27

1.23

1.21

1.23

1.33

Other shift relief factors based on SRF for a 5-day post:
25. 7-day post, one 8-hour shift: (Line 24 X 7) ÷ 5

1.78

1.72

1.69

1.71

1.86

26. 7-day post, 8-hour shifts, 24-hour continuous coverage: Line 25 X 3

5.34

5.16

5.07

5.13

5.59

27. 7-day post, one 10-hour shift: (Line 24 X 10) ÷ 8

1.59

1.54

1.51

1.53

1.66

28. 7-day post, one 12-hour shift: (Line 25 X 12) ÷ 8

2.67

2.58

2.54

2.57

2.79

29. 7-day post, 12-hour shifts, 24-hour continuous coverage: Line 28 X 2

5.34

5.16

5.07

5.13

5.58

*If some staff in a classification are relieved for meals/breaks and some are not, an additional column is required for that classification because the total net
annual work hours will be less for relieved posts than for nonrelieved posts.
Source: Adapted from Dennis R. Liebert and Rod Miller, Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails, 2d ed. (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National
Institute of Corrections, 2003), page 43.

44

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D E V E L O P I N G T H E S H I F T R E L I E F FA C T O R

3. Add lines 2 through 17 to obtain the average total hours of time off per em­
ployee per year (line 18).

4. Subtract the total hours off per year (line 18) from the total hours contracted 

per year (line 1). This is the NAWH.

The accuracy of the NAWH (and, ultimately, of the shift relief factor) depends on
including all types of leave and absence in the calculation. Form B lists the basic
types of leave and absence and includes a row labeled “Other” for facility-specific
information. Add additional rows to your form as needed.
Data may not be readily available for each applicable time-off category. Do not
dismiss a category as minor or insignificant for that reason. Staff time away from
scheduled work adds up quickly, and the larger the facility, the greater the budget
shortfall will be if data are not complete and accurate. Collect all data needed, no
matter how difficult. Set up new protocols to ensure that the data will continue to
be collected and will be available when it is time to update calculations. The value
of NAWH calculations depends on the accuracy and thoroughness of the research
that goes into them.

Tip: Collect at least 3
years of data to develop
the average time taken
off in each leave/absence
category.

Because the amount of time off per year varies according to staff classification
(e.g., differences in the amount of vacation time or the amount of training time
allotted and used), a separate NAWH should be calculated for every classification
of staff for which the total amount of leave/absence varies substantially. Form B
includes columns for five staff classifications: major, captain, lieutenant, sergeant,
and correctional officer. Additionally, more than one column may be required for
each classification if there are differences in relief status (e.g., some sergeants are
relieved for meals and breaks and others are not) because the NAWH of staff who
are relieved will be less than the NAWH of those who are not relieved.
Calculate the number of hours the post must be staffed per year
1. Identify:
■

The number of hours in the basic shift (line 20).

■

The number of shifts per day (line 21).

■

The number of days per week that the post needs to be staffed (line 22).

2. Multiply line 20 by line 21 by line 22 by the 52.14 weeks in a year. This is the
total number of hours the post must be staffed per year (line 23).
Calculate the shift relief factor
Divide the number of hours the post is staffed per year (line 23) by the NAWH
(line 19). This is the shift relief factor, or the number of full-time-equivalent staff
needed to keep the post staffed (line 24).

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45

CHAPTER 8

At the bottom of the form (lines 25–29) are shift relief factors for other work
schedules based on the SRF for a 5-day, 8-hour post (line 24). These shift relief
factors are used in the “Recommended SRF” column in the example of form D,
“Post Evaluation and Planning Instrument,” which is discussed in chapter 9.
Calculating the Shift Relief Factor by the Traditional Method
Some agencies may want to continue calculating shift relief factors in days or may
be required to do so. Form C, “Shift Relief Factor Based on Days,” is provided in
appendix B for their use. Exhibit 6 shows a copy of form C completed using the
same leave and absence categories that were used to calculate NAWH in exhibit 5,
but with the time expressed in days rather than hours.
Like form B in exhibit 5, form C in exhibit 6 has been completed to calculate the
shift relief factor for a post occupied 5 days per week, 261 days per year. If the
average security employee is available to work 205 days per year (after all leave is
deducted), then the shift relief factor is 1.27 (261 ÷ 205). Therefore, for coverage
of one post on one shift 5 days every week, the facility must have 1.27 full-time
employees. If that same post is to be filled all the time (i.e., 5 days per week, 24
hours per day), and there are three shifts per day, this post would have a shift
relief factor of 3.18 (3 ✕ 1.27).
If a post has to be occupied 365 days per year and the average security employee
is available to work 205 days per year, then the shift relief factor is 1.78 (365 ÷
205). Therefore, for continuous coverage of one post on one shift, the facility
must have 1.78 full-time employees. If that same post is to be filled all the time
(i.e., 7 days per week, 24 hours per day), and there are three shifts per day, the
post would have a shift relief factor of 5.34 (3 ✕ 1.78).

Which Method Should Be Used?
It may be difficult to decide which method to use. Using NAWH may be more
precise, in that the unit of analysis is hours rather than days, but the traditional
SRF formula calculated in days may be more familiar to the agency and can be
applied with little loss in precision. As can be seen by comparing the shift relief
factors in exhibits 5 and 6, the numbers are identical, demonstrating that either
method is reliable as long as all types of leave and absence are included in the cal­
culation and the data used are accurate. If the agency’s personnel recordkeeping
system is capable of producing the information in hours instead of days, using the
NAWH method is recommended.
Note that whichever method is used, the newly calculated SRF will be an impor­
tant part of the post evaluation process, which is the subject of the next chapter.

46

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D E V E L O P I N G T H E S H I F T R E L I E F FA C T O R

Exhibit 6. Example of Form C: Shift Relief Factor Based on Days
Major

Captain

Post data:
A. Days per week post is covered
B. Days per year post is covered (Line A X 52.14)

Sergeant

Correctional
Officer

Days
5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

261.0

261.0

261.0

261.0

261.0

261.0

261.0

261.0

261.0

261.0

Staff availability:
C. Days contracted to work per year	

Lieutenant

Days

Annual leave

16.8

14.6

14.4

13.9

11.8

Holiday leave

13.0

13.0

13.0

13.0

13.0

Compensatory time

12.6

10.0

8.1

7.3

8.1

Sick leave

6.9

5.8

4.5

7.0

10.6

Training time

3.0

3.1

3.0

3.0

4.0

Personal time

1.8

0.5

0.6

1.5

1.8

Military leave (paid and unpaid)

0.1

0.1

0.3

0.3

0.8

Meal and break time

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

13.0

Job injury/Workers Compensation leave (excludes sick leave)

0.3

0.1

0.0

0.4

0.5

Leave without pay (e.g., Family and Medical Leave Act)

0.0

0.1

0.4

0.5

0.5

Relief-from-duty leave (with or without pay)

0.1

0.0

0.0

0.3

0.8

Funeral/bereavement leave

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.0

0.0

Unauthorized absence time

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Unearned/executive leave

0.3

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Vacancies

0.8

0.5

1.6

0.5

0.4

Other
D. Total days leave per year 	
E. Total available workdays per year (Subtract Line D from Line C)

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

55.6

48.0

46.0

47.5

65.1

205.4

213.0

215.0

213.5

195.9

1.27

1.23

1.21

1.22

1.33

1.72

1.69

1.71

1.86

Shift relief factor: 	
F. SRF = Line B ÷ Line E

Full-time-equivalent staff

Other shift relief factors based on SRF for a 5-day post (assuming one shift = 8 hours):
G. 7-day post, one 8-hour shift: (Line F X 7) ÷ 5
H. 7-day post, 8-hour shifts, 24-hour continuous coverage: Line G X 3
I. 7-day post, one 10-hour shift: (Line F X 10) ÷ 8

1.78
5.34

5.16

5.07

5.13

5.59

1.59

1.54

1.51

1.53

1.66

J. 7-day post, one 12-hour shift: (Line G X 12) ÷ 8

2.67

2.58

2.54

2.57

2.79

K. 7-day post, 12-hour shifts, 24-hour continuous coverage: Line 28 X 2

5.34

5.16

5.07

5.13

5.58

|

47

CHAPTER 9

Security Post Planning

With benefit of (1) a plan for conducting the staffing analysis, (2) an understand­
ing of the facility in terms of mission, operations, physical plant design and utili­
zation, and inmate population, (3) a facility activities schedule, and (4) shift relief
factors (SRFs), the staffing analyst is ready to evaluate security posts and develop
post plans.
This chapter delineates the steps for conducting post evaluations, demonstrates
techniques for documenting collected data and recommendations for improve­
ment, and provides aids for observing and interviewing staff during the evaluation
of a post. All references in the chapter are to security staff, although the principles
and guidelines presented here also apply to nonsecurity staff who work shifts
(e.g., those involved with building and vehicle maintenance, food service, laundry,
recreation, counseling and casework, and health and mental health services).

The Purpose of Post Planning
Security experts, both consultants and practitioners, unanimously agree: staffing
is adequate when the right number of staff in a facility are doing the right things
in the right places at the right times. Post plans are the foundations of adequate
staffing.
Security post planning is done to ensure efficient posting of staff throughout the
facility/agency. It entails two overarching tasks:
1. The establishment and/or review of all security posts in a facility or agency ac­
cording to specific guidelines.
2. The development of recommendations for modifying posts, where necessary.
By studying every security job/post in the facility according to a set of specific
criteria and in relation to one another, the analyst can determine why and where
posts should be located, what the duties of each post should be, and when and
how frequently those duties should be performed. The analyst constructs a pro­
posed post plan that details all of these decisions and specifies the total number
of staff needed.
Post planning should be an ongoing and regular practice that continually improves
a facility’s staff deployment. With due diligence and with all considerations

|

49

CHAPTER 9

explored, effective post planning will enhance the facility’s safety and security
and ensure that the jurisdiction’s money is being spent prudently.

The Mechanics of Post Planning
Post planning is tedious, detailed work. Every existing and potential post in a
facility must be carefully studied for its purpose, its priority, its location, its dura­
tion per 24 hours, its effectiveness, and its efficiency. In addition, the relationships
between various posts and their respective assigned duties must be analyzed to
ensure security backup; to cover facility operations, activities, programs, and ser­
vices; and to avoid unnecessary post redundancies.
The mechanics of post planning include organizing the post study, documenting
the characteristics of each post, evaluating each post, and documenting any issues
with the post and making recommendations for it in a revised post plan. The fol­
lowing sections explain the tasks in each of these stages, step by step.
Organizing the Post Study
Preparing for the first time to study security posts requires a bit of thinking and
organizing, but after the first exercise, the preparation requires much less work.
Completing the following organizational tasks before undertaking the actual docu­
mentation and evaluation of posts will help the study go smoothly.
1. Hold a meeting of the posting team to develop a plan for conducting the
study and to review all of the particulars of the organization of the work. The
organization of the post study must be in accord with the agency’s staff de­
ployment policy and staffing procedures. This applies whether the evaluator(s)
are agency personnel or external to the agency (e.g., legislative committee
members or state auditors.)
2. Establish who is in charge. If this designation of responsibility is not delin­
eated in agency policy, the appropriate authority should select an employee in
the agency who has expertise in staffing.
3. Select evaluators to do the work. Where possible:
■	

Appoint evaluators who do not work at the facility being evaluated.

■	

Assign more than one evaluator to a facility. Evaluators benefit from com­
paring judgment calls during post evaluations, especially when there is a
demand for elimination of posts and when there are complicating factors
that call for discussion and deliberation.

■	

Evaluate several facilities simultaneously, especially when uniformity
across facility functions and across prototype designs is desired.

4. Establish a division of labor that will ensure an efficient study. Economies of
labor can be realized by giving evaluators posting specialties (e.g., housing,
transportation).
50

|

SECURITY POST PLANNING

5. Set a timeframe for the work that includes specific goals for each day.
6. Decide on a posting approach.
■	

Some agencies approach post planning as a review of existing posts to
determine how they can be deployed more productively, efficiently, and
economically. When necessary, they make modifications (each of which
must be justified) to the existing plan.

■	

Planners of new facilities or agencies that practice zero-based budgeting
approach post planning from the point of view that all posts must always be
established as if for the first time.

Tip: Regardless of the
approach to post plan­
ning, the preparations
are the same.

7. Ensure that all posting team members understand the reason the post study
is being conducted. Is this a routine post study required by the agency’s staff
deployment policy, or is the study being performed as part of a reduction in
force (RIF), across-the-board percent reduction, investigation into staffing
practices pursuant to litigation, or other specific purpose? The goal of the
study will drive and influence the work.
8. Frame the work in the context of the entire staffing analysis project. (This task
may extend to additional meetings and discussions.)
■	

Discuss the characteristics of the facility and pertinent issues.

■	

Review the facility activities and operations schedule (form A) that was
produced during the organization stage of the staffing analysis (see
chapter 7).

■	

Study the policies and procedures applicable to developing posts and a post
plan.

■	

Review the current post plan, making note of issues to be examined and
resolved.

■	

Interview facility managers from various disciplines and ranks to gain dif­
ferent perspectives on facility staffing practices.

Tip: People not directly
involved in the analysis
(for example, program and
industries supervisors) may
also be good resources
concerning the staffing
issues at hand.

9. Prepare the instruments (forms) that will be used for the study and review
them with the posting team.
■	

If the agency has its own instruments for post evaluation and planning, re­
view them to make sure they will capture all of the data needed for the post
study.

■	

If the agency does not have instruments for gathering data and document­
ing recommended modifications to the operation of a post, use the forms
provided in this manual or devise new instruments.

■	

Record the current post plan information in the evaluation instrument being
used so that the time visiting each post can be spent evaluating the post and
documenting any issues found with it. (See next section, “Documenting the
Characteristics of a Post.”)

Note: When developing
new instruments for post
evaluation and planning, it
is important to test them at
a facility and revise them
accordingly before using
them agencywide.

|

51

CHAPTER 9

10. Attend to the logistics that will support the work:
■	

Print and organize all materials needed to conduct the study.

■	

Set up appointments for interviews and observation.

■	

Set aside time for evaluators to meet periodically during the work to dis­
cuss post plan issues and preliminary recommendations so that they can
benefit from one another’s judgments and creative thinking.

■	

Assemble the documents that will be needed during the post study in an
office set aside for this work. (See sidebar “Reference Documents for Post
Studies” for suggestions.)

Reference Documents for Post Studies
❏ Post orders for every post in the facility
❏ Activity schedules
❏ Operation functions schedule
❏ Agency and facility-specific deployment policies, procedures, and 

materials, such as: 

❍ Post plans
❍ Master and daily rosters
❍ Staffing patterns and cycles
❍ Shift relief factors
❏ Personnel policies, such as those describing:
❍ Employee behavior
❍ Assignments
❍ Work hours
❍ Compensation
❍ Leave
❍ Grievances
❏ Personnel records of actual leave and absences for a prescribed 

number of years 

❏ Security policies involving:
❍ Inspection requirements
❍ Inmate behavior control
❍ Inmate delegation/control
❍ Security/facility inspections
❍ Incident management
❍ Responding to disturbances
❍ Prevention of and response to inmate escapes
❍ Searches (including strip searches)

52

|

Continued on next page.

SECURITY POST PLANNING

Reference Documents for Post Studies (continued)
❍ Inmate accountability
❍ Protective segregation procedures
❍ Inmate transportation
❍ Security threat groups
❍ Substance abuse and control
❍ Inmate death or hospitalization
❏ Security forms/instruments for accountability
❏ Working master and daily rosters
❏ Working scheduling patterns
❏ Recent staffing analysis reports
❏ Facility floor plans, especially for housing units
❏ Pertinent incident reports that are specific to a post (particularly
those involving staff assaults)
❏ Staff grievances related to staffing filed in the past year
❏ Inspection reports
❏ Staffing-applicable memos
❏ Monthly statistical reports
❏ Inmate population projections and capacity reports
❏ Internal audit reports

Documenting the Characteristics of a Post
This manual uses the following two instruments to demonstrate post planning.
Both instruments incorporate best practices for documenting post studies gleaned
from staffing experts and selected jurisdictions across the United States.
■	

Form D: Post Evaluation and Planning Instrument. This two-part form is
designed to be the official record of all of the information needed to determine
the facility’s security complement. Part 1 of the form documents the post’s cur­
rent structure and staffing, and part 2 documents the recommended post plan
(see exhibits 7 and 8, respectively).

■	

Form E: Recommended Post Modification. This form is used to record
observations and recommendations about the specific characteristics and issues
of a post that require modification or improvement. Exhibit 9 (pages 56–57)
shows two completed examples of form E.

Blank copies of both forms are included in appendix B.

|

53

54

|

C

CS

CS

CS

CS

CS

CS

CS

CS

CS

CS

Lieutenant: Shift

Lieutenant: Operations

Lieutenant
Administrative

Sergeant: Shift

Sergeant ABCD

Sergeant EFGH

Sergeant IJKL

Sergeant: Support Services

Sergeant: Activity

Sergeant: Work Crews

ISP

ISP

ISP

ISP

ESP

ISP

IM

IM

ISP

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

Mail and property

Kitchen

Clinic

Commissary

Visitation

Education, vocational training

Yard

Escort

Work crew

Housing Officer A Unit

Housing Officer B Unit

Housing Officer C Unit

Housing Officer D Unit

Housing Officer E Unit

Housing Officer F Unit

Admin. seg./disciplinary unit

Total Correctional
Officers

EM

Transportation unit

P

Main gate

EM

P

Perimeter

Transportation coordination

ISP

Property

EM

ISP

Armory, keys, restraints, fire

Vehicle sallyport

CTL

Main control

Correctional Officer posts

Total Command

C

Security Captain

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

L

L

L

C

M

Rank

Function

7

M

M

M

M

M

M

M

M

E

M

M

E

M

E

M

M

M

M

M

E

M

M

M

E

M

M

M

M

M

M

M

M

M

7

7

7

7

7

7

7

5

7

4

5

5

5

5

7

5

5

5

5

7

7

5

5

7

5

7

7

7

7

7

7

5

7

7

M

5

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Office
hours

Number
of days

M

6

5

M

Priority

4

Attributes
3

2

Major

Command posts

1

Post

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

3

2

1

3

1

1

1

4

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

Day shift,
8 hours

7

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

3

1

1

1

4

2

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

4

2

1

1

1

1

1

Night
shift,
8 hours

Evening
shift,
8 hours

1

9

8

1

1

Day shift,
12 hours

10

Officers per Shift

Exhibit 7. Example of Form D: Post Evaluation and Planning Instrument
Part 1. Current Post Plan

Night
shift,
12 hours

11

2

1

1

10-hour
over­
lapping

12

Other

13

15

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Y

N

N

N

Y

N

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Y

N

N

N

N

Y

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

3

6

2

1

1

1

1

2

1

6

3

2

3

12

1

1

6

1

1

1

3

3

3

3

1

1

3

2

1

Total
staff per
24 hours

16

1.70

1.70

1.70

1.70

1.70

1.70

1.70

1.20

1.70

1.30

1.20

1.30

1.20

1.20

1.70

1.00

1.20

1.20

1.30

1.80

1.70

1.70

1.00

1.70

1.20

2.10

2.10

1.70

1.70

1.70

1.70

1.00

1.70

1.70

1.70

1.00

149.2

10.2

10.2

10.2

10.2

10.2

10.2

10.2

3.6

10.2

2.6

1.2

1.3

1.2

1.2

3.4

1.0

7.2

3.6

2.6

5.4

20.4

1.7

1.0

10.2

38.0

1.2

2.1

2.1

5.1

5.1

5.1

5.1

1.0

1.7

5.1

3.4

1.0

18

Rec.
number
FTEs

17

Current
SRF
(per shift)

Computation
Shift
Meal/
relief
break
required? required?

14

CHAPTER 9

CS
CS
CS
CS
CS
CS
CS
CS
CS
CS

Lieutenant: Shift

Lieutenant: Operations

Lieutenant
Administrative

Sergeant: Shift

Sergeant ABCD

Sergeant EFGH

Sergeant IJKL

Sergeant: Support Services

Sergeant: Activity

Sergeant: Work Crews

X

C

Security Captain

IM
IM
ISP
H
H
H
H
H
H
H

Yard

Escort

Work crew

Housing Officer A Unit

Housing Officer B Unit

Housing Officer C Unit

Housing Officer D Unit

Housing Officer E Unit

Housing Officer F Unit

Admin. seg./disciplinary unit

Total Correctional
Officers

ISP

ESP

Visitation

Education, vocational training

ISP

X

ISP

ISP

Kitchen

Commissary

ISP

Mail and property

Clinic

EM

Transportation unit

X

EM

Transportation coordination

EM

X

P

Perimeter

Vehicle sallyport

ISP

Property
P

ISP

Armory, keys, restraints, fire

Main gate

CTL

Main control

Correctional Officer posts

Total Command

C

Major

Command posts

M
M

S
S

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

CO

M

M

M

M

M

M

M

E

M

M

E

M

E

M

M

M

M

M

E

M

M

M

E

M

M

S

CO

M

M

S

S

M

7

7

7

7

7

7

7

5

7

4

5

4

5

5

7

5

5

5

5

7

7

5

5

7

5

7

7

7

7

7

7

S
S

5

7

7

7

5

Number
of days

24

L
M

M

M

L
L

M

M

Priority

23

C

M

Rank

22

Attached
Mod./
Code
Function

Attributes
21

19

20

Post

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Office
hours

25

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

3

2

3

1

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

Day
shift,
8 hours

26

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

3

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

Evening
shift,
8 hours

27

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

Night
shift,
8 hours

28

1

1

1

Day
shift,
12 hours

29

Officers per Shift

Exhibit 8. Example of Form D: Post Evaluation and Planning Instrument
Part 2. Recommended Post Plan

Night
shift,
12 hours

30

Other

10-hour
over­
lapping

2

1

1

1

32

31

34

35

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

N

N

Y

N

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Y

N

N

N

Y

N

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

Y

N

N

Y

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

3

6

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

6

3

2

3

3

1

1

6

1

1

1

3

3

3

3

1

1

3

2

1

36

1.86

1.86

1.86

1.86

1.86

1.86

1.86

1.33

1.86

1.66

1.33

1.66

1.00

1.00

2.59

1.00

1.33

1.33

1.33

1.86

1.86

1.33

1.00

1.86

1.22

2.56

2.56

1.71

1.71

1.71

1.71

1.00

1.69

1.69

1.72

1.00

Rec. SRF
(per
shift)

Computation
Shift
Meal/
Total
relief
break
staff per
required? required? 24 hours

33

37

144.5

11.2

11.2

11.2

11.2

11.2

11.2

11.2

4.0

11.2

3.3

1.3

1.7

1.0

1.0

2.6

1.0

8.0

4.0

2.7

5.6

5.6

1.3

1.0

11.2

39.1

1.2

2.6

2.6

5.1

5.1

5.1

5.1

1.0

1.7

5.1

3.4

1.0

Rec.
number
FTEs

SECURITY POST PLANNING

|

55

CHAPTER 9

Exhibit 9. Examples of Form E: Recommended Post Modification
Instructions: Enter the post to be modified. If the change affects the characteristics of the post, enter the current characteristic in
the “From” row and the recommended modification in the “To” row. To explain any modification to the post, enter
the modification code from the key at the bottom of the form and enter narrative in the space provided.
Name of Facility

Area of Prison

Date

Generic Correction Facility

Perimeter

Name of Analyst

4/6/2007

Interviewee

J.R. Post

John Analyst
Attributes

Specification of Posts

Shifts

Relief

Post to be Modified
Day
8
hours

Evening
8
hours

Night
8
hours

From

4

4

4

To

1

1

1

4 towers

Mod.
Code
C4

Comments

Function

Rank

Priority

Number
of days
filled

Office
hours

Day
12
hours

Night
12
hours

10 hour

Other

Shift
relief

Meal/
break

Deactivate towers and secure them.

(See table below for modification codes.)
Mod.
Code
C4

Comments

Add buried cable perimeter detection system and additional fence.

Destroy grass and cover ground with gravel. 

Install perimeter surveillance in Main Control.


(See table below for modification codes.)
Mod.
Code
G1, A5

Comments

Delete three posts on each shift.


(See table below for modification codes.)
Mod.
Code
B2

Comments

Purchase perimeter vehicle. 


(See table below for modification codes.)
Mod.
Code
B2

Comments

Equip vehicle with shotgun, wide range flashlight, spot light, 

radios (prison and state police), billy club, and tear gas.


(See table below for modification codes.)
Modification Code Key:
A. Characteristics/
Functions
A1
A2
A3
A4
A5
A6
A7

56

|

-

Function
Rank
Priority
Days filled
Shift
Relief
Meals

B. Workload
B1 - Schedule
B2 - Activities
B3 - Programs
B4 - Movement
B5 - Documentation
B6 - Other

C1
C2
C3
C4
C5
C6

-

C. Safety

D. Inmates

Backup
Equipment
Technological
Physical plant
Sight lines
Other

D1
D2
D3
D4
D5

-

Number
Gender
Custody
Special
Other

E. Special
E1
E2
E3
E4
E5
E6

-

Screening
Testing
Training
No rotation
Scheduling
Relation to other post

F. Issues
F1 - Contract
F2 - Union
F3 - Court

G. Post
G1
G2
G3
G4
G5
G6

-

Delete
Add
Civilianize
Contract
Pull/collapse
Change duties

SECURITY POST PLANNING

Exhibit 9. Examples of Form E: Recommended Post Modification (continued)
Instructions: Enter the post to be modified. If the change affects the characteristics of the post, enter the current characteristic in
the “From” row and the recommended modification in the “To” row. To explain any modification to the post, enter
the modification code from the key at the bottom of the form and enter narrative in the space provided
Name of Facility

Area of Prison

Date

Generic Correction Facility

Perimeter

Name of Analyst

4/5/2007

Interviewee

Mortimer Post

Max Analyst
Specification of Posts

Attributes

Shifts

Relief

Post to be Modified
Day
8
hours

Evening
8
hours

Night
8
hours

From

1

1

1

To

1

1

Vehicle gate

Mod.
Code
C3

Comments

Function

Rank

Priority

Number
of days
filled

Office
hours

Day
12
hours

Night
12
hours

10 hour

Other

Shift
relief

Meal/
break

5.1
3.4

Install video at vehicle gate, to be monitored by Main Control on the night shift
(this improvement also enhances vehicle gate surveillance on day and evening shifts).

(See table below for modification codes.)
Mod.
Code
G1, A5

Comments

Delete night shift post. Main Control will observe and dispatch escort officer to open and close gate and conduct searches of
vehicles going and coming on night shift.

(See table below for modification codes.)
Mod.
Code

Comments

(See table below for modification codes.)
Mod.
Code

Comments

(See table below for modification codes.)
Mod.
Code

Comments

(See table below for modification codes.)

Modification Code Key:
A. Characteristics/
Functions
A1
A2
A3
A4
A5
A6
A7

-

Function
Rank
Priority
Days filled
Shift
Relief
Meals

B. Workload
B1 - Schedule
B2 - Activities
B3 - Programs
B4 - Movement
B5 - Documentation
B6 - Other

C1
C2
C3
C4
C5
C6

-

C. Safety

D. Inmates

Backup
Equipment
Technological
Physical plant
Sight lines
Other

D1
D2
D3
D4
D5

-

Number
Gender
Custody
Special
Other

E. Special
E1
E2
E3
E4
E5
E6

-

Screening
Testing
Training
No rotation
Scheduling
Relation to other post

F. Issues
F1 - Contract
F2 - Union
F3 - Court

G. Post
G1
G2
G3
G4
G5
G6

-

Delete
Add
Civilianize
Contract
Pull/collapse
Change duties

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57

CHAPTER 9

Note: For all posts that
are vacant or frozen at the
time of the evaluation,
find out how long that
has been the status of the
post. If a post has been va­
cant for 6 months or more,
it may not be needed
and should be evaluated
carefully.

To expedite the evaluation process, record the current information available for
the post on form D, part 1, “Current Post Plan,” before beginning the evaluation.
Entering the current data for each post during the evaluation can become quite la­
borious and can make the process take longer than is necessary. Documenting the
current post plan in advance helps the evaluation progress rapidly and smoothly
and also reduces the possibility of overlooking posts that are not readily visible.
Following are instructions for completing form D, part 1. If issues that require
attention become apparent in recording the information, note them on form E,
“Recommended Post Modification.” (Note: At the end of the evaluation, changes
recommended for the post are recorded on form D, part 2, “Recommended Post
Plan.” See “Documenting Issues and Making Recommendations,” page 63.)
1. Enter the name of the post in column 1.
2. Enter the post’s function in column 2. For evaluation purposes, facility posts
should be organized into categories so that each category’s staffing numbers
and statistics can be analyzed.

Note: Form D is designed
to be completed using
codes. If your agency ana­
lyzes posts by categories, a
coding system may already
be in place. If not, consider
developing a set of post
categories for the agency
and an accompanying set
of codes for use in staffing
analyses. The codes used
in the example of form D
shown in exhibits 7 and 8
are defined in “Key for Post
Evaluation and Planning
Instrument” at the end of
this chapter.

3. Enter the post’s security rank in column 3. It should be consistent with the 

nature of the work described and the post’s level of responsibility. 

4. Enter the post’s priority rating in column 4. The priority rating indicates the
level of urgency associated with keeping the post covered.
5. Enter the number of days per week that the post is active in column 5.
6. Enter information on the coverage pattern of the post in columns 6 through
13. For each post identified in column 1, enter the number of officers per shift
under each shift in which the post is in operation. (See “Key for Post Evalua­
tion and Planning Instrument” at the end of this chapter for an explanation of
the shifts used in form D.)
7. If this information is not included in the current post plan, request it.
8. Enter the shift relief status of the post in column 14: Y (yes) if the post re­
quires continuous coverage during the hours it is operational or N (no) if shift
relief is not required.
9. Note whether the post is currently relieved for meals and/or breaks (Y/N) in
column 15.
10. Add columns 6 through 13 to obtain the number of staff needed to cover the
post over a 24-hour period and enter this number in column 16.
11. If the facility has a shift relief factor (SRF) applicable to the post’s coverage
pattern, enter it in column 17. (Note: This is not the newly calculated SRF
described in chapter 8.)

58

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SECURITY POST PLANNING

12. Multiply column 16 (total staff per 24 hours) by column 17 (SRF) to obtain
the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) positions required to ensure that the
post is covered at all times it is in operation. Enter the result in column 18. If
the number calculated does not match that shown in the agency’s current staff­
ing plan, make note of this discrepancy in form E.
Evaluating a Post
Armed with the agency’s mission, policies and procedures, the current post plan,
relevant post orders and rosters, activity schedules, appropriate forms and materi­
als, and a pre-established schedule for post visits and interviews on all shifts, post
evaluators are ready to review the posts and learn the practices of the institution.
Evaluators should study the post from all aspects before making recommendations
for the post.
1. Arrive at the post with all materials necessary to document findings.
2. Be prepared to explain the nature of the evaluation to the staff member oc­
cupying the post and to answer questions about the purpose of the evaluation
and its effect on the occupant.
3. Locate the post on the current post plan to understand its context in the over­
all posting scheme of the facility and how it fits into the security chain of
command.
4. Obtain and read the post order, if one exists, and the policies and pro­
cedures that apply to the post to learn the documented intent of the post. 

Well-constructed post orders delineate: 

■	

The name of the post and its working hours, by shifts and by days open.

■	

Behavioral principles and guidelines for staff.

■	

A list of all responsibilities of the post as well as all accompanying tasks
to be performed on each shift the post is active.

■	

A sequence of the post’s activities and operations. (Sometimes the schedule
is a separate document, posted on a bulletin board or in the logbook.)

■	

Applicable policies and procedures (usually attached).

All of this information is needed to complete the evaluation. If there is no
post order, obtain the information from the post occupant and from post
memoranda.
5. Discuss the post order with the post occupant, checking it against the current
post information previously entered in form D, part 1, “Current Post Plan.”
■	

Review any issues with the post that were noted on form E, “Recom­
mended Post Modification,” during the organization stage of the post study.

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59

CHAPTER 9

■	

Use form E to note any discrepancies found between the documented post
responsibilities and the actual post activities.

■	

If the current post plan was not previously documented, enter the informa­
tion at this time on form D, part 1, following the guidelines presented
above in “Documenting the Characteristics of a Post” (pages 53–59).

6. Establish the schedule for each shift, hour by hour. If there is no written
schedule, document one by interviewing the post occupant or supervisor.
Notice peaks and valleys of activity and demands for supervision. Discuss the
flow of activities with the post occupant. Refer to the facility’s activity sched­
ule and compare this post with others in the facility.

Tip: Interview post occu­
pants on all shifts to obtain
insights regarding work­
load, working conditions,
and issues affecting the
post. Also interview the
post supervisor and the oc­
cupants of related posts, if
any, to better understand
the post in the context of
the post plan. It is often
beneficial also to seek
the input of ancillary staff
(e.g., health and mental
health services), who may
have valuable ideas about
the assignment of security
staff.

■	

Are there inefficiencies?

■	

Is there a perceived disconnect between this post’s scheduled activities and
those of other posts that operate concurrently?

■	

Can efficiencies or economies be gained by adjusting either the schedule of
this post or other concurrent posts? What might they be?

7. Observe the functional operation of the post to evaluate workload:
■	

Review the post’s logbook, if available, to trace the extent to which it maps
the post’s documented duties and schedule.

■	

Determine whether the post requirements accurately reflect the work being
performed. Note discrepancies on form E.

■	

Closely observe security operations and compare them with the post orders.

■	

Observe how the occupant conducts post activities.

■	

Observe the amount and types of inmate activities at the post location.

■	

Estimate how long it should take to complete the normal duties required
during the post’s different shifts. Consider the types, number, variety, and
frequency of duties. Activities may need to be rearranged and tasks/duties
removed or added to establish a reasonable workload. Note issues on
form E.

■	

Ask the post occupant the following questions:
• Are you actively completing tasks during the entire time you are on duty?
• How long does it take to complete each task? What is involved?
• When are you most busy, and why? What are you doing at those peaks?
• When are the least busy times? What are you doing during those times?
• Are you completing tasks on this post that should be completed by
other posts?
• Could tasks be added to this post that are currently being completed by
other posts?
• How many prisoners, on average, do you watch and manage during
your tour?

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SECURITY POST PLANNING

• Are there times when there are no prisoners to supervise at this location?
Why or why not? Where are they? What do you do with your time under
those circumstances?
• Is there a time when professional staff presence might reduce the need
for security staff in this area?
• Are you relieved from duty for meals or breaks? If so, how?
8. Observe the post’s physical environment to determine how it affects the post’s
functioning. Is there a modification that could improve safety, efficiency, or
use of manpower? Take note of the characteristics in the following list.
■	

Ability to move the post (as opposed to a fixed post such as a tower or con­
trol room).

■	

Shape and/or configuration of the building or area.

■	

Presence of a radio or other communication devices.

■	

Sightlines of the area.

■	

Lighting.

■	

Ability to see another post occupant.

■	

Location of a control room that supports the area (e.g., entry and exit, 

equipment access, emergency backup, counts). 


■	

Presence of an officer station.

■	

Presence of locks and method of locking.

■	

Number of rooms and their functions and whether they are locked.

■	

Presence and locations of alarm buttons.

■	

Location of cleaning utilities and equipment.

■	

Helpful questions to ask the post occupant and others about the physical
characteristics of the post location:

Tip: Many times a work
location (e.g., administra­
tive segregation) may
have more than one post
operating at the same
time under identical post
orders. If this is the case,
it is likely that an informal
division of labor has oc­
curred. Establish the actual
division of labor and make
determinations about
the posts based on the
division. Report the need
for individual post orders
for the posts in question
so that each one can be
evaluated on the basis of
its own duties in future
staffing analyses. Discuss
any issues and possible
solutions with the post
occupants and, later, with
other posting team mem­
bers. Use form E to docu­
ment findings and make
recommendations.

• What is the span of physical space for which you must provide
surveillance?
• Where are the blind spots in the area?
• What is the most strategic place in the area for maximum span of sight?
• What movements must you make to see the entire physical space?
• Can you hear movement and voices within the area?
• Do you feel safe in this location? If not, what would make you feel safer?
• Which post occupant is your backup and where is his/her post located? Is
that backup reliable?
• Where and what is your technological backup? Do you trust it? If not,
why not?
• How many nonsecurity professional staff must be shared with other
facility units?

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CHAPTER 9

Notes: See chapter 10,
“Special Guidelines for
Evaluating Housing Units,”
for a detailed discussion of
the factors that influence
posting decisions in the
housing environment.
See chapters 15 and 16
for a discussion of staffing
considerations for women’s
facilities and medical and
mental health units.

Tip: If the occupant or
others characterize the
post as dangerous, review
the number of assaults
that have occurred in rela­
tion to the post.

9. Consider the nature of the prisoner population supervised by the post to deter­
mine whether the number of staff assigned is sufficient to control the inmates
present:
■	

Take stock of the following prisoner characteristics:
• Number.
• Gender.
• Age.
• Custody level (i.e., maximum, close, medium, minimum). (Are multiple
custody levels present—e.g., medium and close, medium and minimum?)
• Institutional classification (e.g., disciplinary segregation, administrative
segregation, general population, honor unit).
• Behavioral profile/mental state (e.g., aggressive, passive, anxious, de­
pressed, personality disordered, emotionally disturbed, psychotic,
suicidal, special issues).
• Physical condition (e.g., mobility, conditions of illness).

■	

Consider the type of supervision used by the post (direct, indirect, or a
combination of both).

■	

Ask the following questions:
• How much direct contact do you have with prisoners?
• Are there too many prisoners to supervise safely?
• Is the prisoner activity level appropriate for the type of inmate you are
supervising?
• Is the prisoner activity level manageable? If not, what could be done to
make it manageable?
• Is anything particularly dangerous about the prisoners you supervise?
If so, are the provisions for supervising relatively dangerous prisoners
adequate at this post?
• Do you think you are qualified to deal effectively with the prisoners un­
der your supervision? If not, what do you need to become qualified?
• How dangerous is this post compared with others in the facility? Why do
you consider it dangerous/not dangerous?

10. Consider the post in relation to other posts and other facility functions, par­
ticularly with regard to the management and treatment of special populations.
It is important to look for opportunities for staffing improvements in this
context. Consider the following:

62

|

■	

The post’s interaction with and functional relation to other posts, not only
in the area, but in other parts of the facility.

■	

Post tasks in relation to overall facility workload.

SECURITY POST PLANNING

■	

Interactions between post staff and staff in other disciplines, such as inmate
programs (e.g., education, industries, vocational training), inmate services
(e.g., food, laundry, mail, commissary), mental health and medical services,
support services (e.g., maintenance, vehicles), and administrative services.

■	

The need for security staff with special training for special functions or
populations.

11. Consider other factors that may affect the post:
■	

Contingencies for cross-gender staffing.

■	

The need for a dedicated cadre of officers for a specific function, thereby
affecting post rotation schedules.

■	

Staffing stipulation(s) in the labor contract.

■	

Staffing requirements negotiated with service providers.

■	

The ratio of security staff to inmates.

Tip: Use the facility ac­
tivities chart (form A; see
chapter 7) developed dur­
ing the organization stage
of the staffing analysis to
consider post activities
within the context of
facility operations and
activities.

Documenting Issues and Making Recommendations
After reviewing the post thoroughly from as many perspectives as possible, the
evaluator is ready to complete the post study by documenting any issues that
require attention and drafting recommendations for the post.
1. Use form E, “Recommended Post Modification,” to document recommended
modifications to posts and any related considerations.
■	

Complete a separate copy of form E for each post that is the subject of
recommendations.

■	

Indicate that form E was completed for the post by placing an X in column
20 of form D, “Post Evaluation and Planning Instrument,” part 2, “Recom­
mended Post Plan.”

■	

Attach all completed copies of form E to form D when submitting the post
analysis to higher authority.

2. Complete form D, part 2, “Recommended Post Plan” (see exhibit 8, page 55).
Where change is being recommended, enter the new information. If change
is not being recommended, copy the information from the current post plan
(form D, part 1) to the appropriate space in part 2. For each column and row
completed for the current post plan, fill in the corresponding column and
row for the recommended post plan.
■	

Post attributes (columns 21 through 24): For each post evaluated, enter
the recommended function, rank, and priority codes and the recommended
number of days per week that the post should be in operation.

■	

Shifts (columns 25 through 32): Should there be a change in the pattern
of post coverage? For each post evaluated, enter the number of officers per
shift under each shift the post should be in operation.

Tip: The decision to add
or delete posts should
be made by a high-level
authority. In a number of
states, post changes are
made at the deputy com­
missioner level. For ex­
ample, in Maryland, post
change recommendations
must go to the Legislative
Assembly.

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63

CHAPTER 9

Tip: If state allocations of
full-time-equivalent (FTE)
positions are centrally
distributed to each facil­
ity, there may be ways to
move the FTE authorized
for lower priority posts
from some facilities to fa­
cilities that are having dif­
ficulty staffing mandatory
posts. Beware, however,
of rewarding facilities that
have developed staffing
problems due to poor
management by giving
them staff taken from fa­
cilities that are disciplined
and prudent with
deployment.

■	

Shift relief (column 33): Does the post require shift relief? Enter Y (yes) if
the post requires continuous coverage during the hours it is operational or
N (no) if shift relief is not required.

■	

Meal breaks (column 34): Should the post be relieved for meals and/or
breaks? Enter Y (yes) or N (no).

■	

Total staff per 24 hours (column 35): For each post evaluated, add the
number of staff per shift (columns 25 through 32) to obtain the total num­
ber of officers needed in a 24-hour period.

■	

Recommended shift relief factor (column 36): Enter the appropriate SRF
from among those that were developed as part of the staffing analysis (see
chapter 8). The SRFs shown in exhibit 8 are taken from exhibit 6 in chapter
8 (page 47).

■	

Recommended number of FTEs (column 37): Multiply column 35 (total
staff per 24 hours) by column 36 (SRF) to determine the number of FTE
positions required to ensure that the post is covered at all times it is in op­
eration over the course of a year.

Before recommendations are made final, the posting team may have to deliberate
to reach agreements about judgment calls, the desired degree of uniformity in post
plan patterns across facilities, and so forth. If multiple facilities are being evalu­
ated simultaneously, all team members and the staffing analyst in charge should
discuss opportunities for changes that would benefit all facilities.
3. Review the completed post recommendations from a facility perspective. Con­
sider carefully how they work together to support operations and activities. If
revisions are required, this is the time to make them.
4. Ensure that all required information is entered on form D and on form E, if
applicable. Do not forget to enter the appropriate SRF for all relieved posts or
to calculate totals.
5. Summarize the findings of the post study and submit them, along with the new
post plan, to the staffing analysis team. The report should follow the agency’s
standard format and include the following:

64

|

■	

A narrative explaining the conduct of the post study. (Who? What? When?
Where? How?)

■	

A summary of issues with tabular and graphic exhibits to illustrate any
patterns and themes observed across posts.

■	

A summary of recommendations with supporting tabular and graphic
exhibits.

■	

A printout of the post evaluation and planning instrument (e.g., form D,
parts 1 and 2) with data entered.

■	

The recommended post plan, presented in the agency’s standard format.

SECURITY POST PLANNING

■	

Summary charts showing changes from current to recommended post
plans.

■	

Copies of all specific issue and recommendations sheets (e.g., form E).

6. Make revisions resulting from supervisory reviews. The staffing analysis team
will use the post plan, along with the shift relief factors for different job clas­
sifications, to compute the facility’s security complement. (See chapter 12,
“Staffing Calculations.)

Key for Post Evaluation and Planning Instrument
Post Functions (columns 2 and 21)
C

Command

CS

Command support

H

Housing unit

P

Perimeter/towers/gates

CTL

Control centers/points

IM

Internal movement (yards, yard pathways, inmate work crews,
building perimeters)

ISP

Internal operations, services, and programs (dining, education,
recreation, medical, food, property, commissary)

EM

External movement (transportation, movement outside the secure
perimeter)

ESP

External operations, services, and programs (work detail, visitation)

Ranks (columns 3 and 22)
M

Major

C

Captain

L

Lieutenant

S

Sergeant

CO

Correctional Officer

O

Other

Priorities (columns 4 and 23)
M

Mandatory/critical complement (cannot be left unfilled without
jeopardizing safety and security)

E

Essential (needed for normal operations but may be temporarily inter­
rupted without significant impact; recommended for staffing at least
75 percent of the time). Example: visiting room.

I

Important (coverage on an irregular basis does not adversely affect
facility operations; recommended for staffing at least 50 percent of the
time). Example: second officer in a dormitory, fifth officer in mess hall
during peak hour(s).
Continued on next page.

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65

CHAPTER 9

Key for Post Evaluation and Planning Instrument (continued)
Shifts (columns 6–13 and 25–32)
Office

The standard 5-days-per-week shift, normally Monday through Friday,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Day,
8 hours

Begins at different times of the day, but normally starts between 5 and
8 a.m. Usually operates 7 days per week.

Evening, Begins at different times of the day, but normally starts between 1 and
8 hours 4 p.m. Usually operates 7 days per week. (Some staff also refer to this
shift as the “afternoon shift.”)
Night,
8 hours

Begins between 9 p.m. and 12 a.m. Usually operates 7 days per week.

Day,
Normally begins at 6 a.m. and operates 7 days per week.
12 hours
Night,
Normally begins at 6 p.m. and operates 7 nights per week.
12 hours

66

|

10-hour
overlap­
ping

Operates 10 hours per day, four times per week, normally overlapping
the day and evening shifts.

Other

This label is reserved for identifying other shifts that might be in use.

CHAPTER 10

Special Guidelines for Evaluating Housing Units

Chapter 9 provided guidance in the mechanics of post planning: organizing the
post study, analyzing the posts in a facility, and documenting the information
collected and recommendations for improvement. This chapter focuses on the
complicated issues associated with security staffing for housing units.
Housing unit posts are of basic importance in a facility. Housing officers are
responsible for controlling the behavior and activities of large numbers of inmates
for sustained periods of time. Special attention and analysis of housing unit staff­
ing is critical for many reasons, including the following:
■	

To ensure adequate and safe inmate supervision and institutional security.

■	

To manage the scheduling and deployment of the largest category of facility
staff effectively.

■	

To reduce the facility’s budget by identifying efficient, yet safe, strategies for
trimming housing staff expenditures.

This chapter begins with a brief examination of the economics of housing unit
posting and then focuses on the implications of the many and complex factors
that affect post decisions in housing units. Because the shape and configuration
of a housing unit have a sweeping and significant impact on staffing decisions,
the chapter also explores typical housing designs and provides tips for staffing
analysts who are called on to review and provide input into housing designs for
new facilities. The chapter concludes with a discussion of prototypical staffing of
housing units for uniformity and economy.

Economic Significance of Housing Unit Posts
When it comes to financial planning, there are no more important posting deci­
sions than those made for an agency’s/facility’s housing units. Housing units are
normally replicated numerous times in a facility, and most require 7-day, 24-hour
posts. A decision to add, delete, or modify a housing unit post affects personal
services budgets significantly.
Take, for example, a housing post that must be covered by a corrections officer
for 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Using a common rule of thumb, that post
requires approximately five officers to keep it occupied. Assuming, for example,

|

67

CHAPTER 10

that an average officer makes an annual salary of $25,000, this post will cost
$125,000 per year. If this same post occurs in 10 identical housing units in a facil­
ity, the post costs $1,250,000. If five facilities within an agency use the design of
this housing unit as a prototype, and each facility has 10 of these units, the cost of
this post is $6,250,000. This example demonstrates the economic importance of
making wise staffing decisions in housing units.
Keep the following guidelines in mind, especially when the staffing analysis is
driven by budgetary issues:
■	

A replicated housing unit post that can be eliminated represents the best oppor­
tunity for large reductions in staff costs.

■	

When considering deleting a 24-hour housing post, give due diligence to secu­
rity and safety policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that security and
safety are not compromised. If eliminating a post results in a security incident,
the posting decisionmaker will be held responsible, not the budgeting staff.

■	

Accordingly, the deletion of a housing post should be approved by an authority
with the commensurate level of responsibility (e.g., chief of security, deputy
warden, deputy agency administrator for operations).

■	

Post deletions are not the only means of saving costs. There are almost always
creative ways to staff a housing unit for improved efficiency and many times
for improved economy. Scheduling housing activities to achieve downtime
and collapsing posts during the times inmates are away from housing units can
make staff available to provide needed relief to other facility posts, thereby sav­
ing relief money.

■	

Study the configuration of a cluster of housing units to discover any flexibility
that might present an opportunity for more efficient staffing.

Factors That Influence Housing Unit Post Decisions
A housing post must be constructed so that the post occupant can maintain safety
and security while conducting routine and scheduled tasks, addressing inmate
problems, attending to relevant facility operations and activities, and maintaining
a calm atmosphere in the unit. In making post decisions for housing unit posts, the
following characteristics must be taken into account: the number and types of in­
mates housed, the method of supervision, the unit’s 24-hour routine and activities,
posts requiring specialized screening and training, and the physical environment.
Number of Inmates Housed
There have been attempts to provide standards for measuring the minimum
number of staff required to supervise a given number of inmates. Some have used
norms, such as 1 staff member to 4 inmates up to 1 staff member to 10 inmates
or more, to set benchmarks for sufficient staffing of a facility. In a number of
68

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SPECIAL GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING HOUSING UNITS

jurisdictions, unions have negotiated the minimum number of staff required for
a facility and even the minimum ratio of staff to inmates in housing units. These
kinds of metrics are at best guesses and at worst manipulations for less work and
more money. There is no doubt among staffing analysts, however, that the level of
supervision required for a given number of inmates in a housing unit is directly
affected by the design capacity of the unit and inmate movement and activities
within the unit.
Design capacity
A housing unit is designed for a particular number of inmates. Planners base the
design of all aspects of the unit on that occupancy number. For example, the num­
bers of showers, toilets, sinks, tables, desks, and chairs are calculated to serve the
maximum number of inmates estimated to be using them at peak times. Likewise,
the unit is designed to have a certain number of posts.
The greater the number of inmates, the greater the demand for the use of equip­
ment such as showers and toilets, the more inmates are likely to be in the dayroom
space and in activities, and the more need there is for supervision over and above
what was estimated when the post(s) were established.
If the unit is housing more inmates than the design was intended to accommo­
date, consider how the increase in inmates affects the post and what physical or
procedural modifications can be made to reduce inefficiency. An example of a
physical accommodation is installing more plumbing, if possible; an example of a
procedural accommodation is scheduling fewer inmates to be out of their cells at
one time.
Inmate movement and activities
The actual number of inmates who are free to move about the unit affects the of­
ficer’s ability to control them safely. It is important to ascertain how many inmates
are out of their cells at given times and what they are doing, how these factors
vary throughout the shift, and what the peak number of inmates is during each
shift.
The following factors associated with inmate activities affect housing unit staffing
decisions:
■	

Number of inmates free to move about in the dayroom.

■	

Where the inmates eat (in or out of their cells, housing unit day room, or cen­
tral dining facility).

■	

Location of showers/toilets (wet versus dry cells).

■	

Employment and programming.

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CHAPTER 10

Types of Inmates Housed
In deciding where to house prisoners, an administrator takes into account their
gender; custody classification (and sometimes personality types within the clas­
sification); institutional behavior; medical, mental health, and age-related needs;
and, in a number of agencies, enrollment in programs (e.g., substance abuse, work
programs). A housing unit’s mission in the context of the facility’s mission can
determine a post’s responsibilities and, in some instances, the number of security
staff required on the unit. When making decisions about posting in housing units,
take the following prisoner characteristics into account:

Tip: Female inmates may
respond better to housing
by personality/behavior
type than to separation
by custody level because
in some instances their
special needs (such as
prenatal care, mothering
of newborns, and psychi­
atric and psychological
treatment) override their
security risk scores.

70

|

■	

Gender. Although post orders may vary between male and female housing
units, only the workload is normally considered. For example, housing for
pregnant women and for mothers with visiting children will require different
duties, but the number of staff will be consistent with workload. The gender of
the inmates influences the gender of the staff only insofar as privacy and propri­
ety are concerned, and post evaluators should note when those issues indicate
gender-specific staffing.

■	

Custody classification. Post supervision is prescribed according to institutional
risk. Custody classification dictates the amount/degree of supervision required
for inmates consistent with the protection of the community, inmate(s), and
staff with regard to day/night movement, general surveillance, access to pro­
grams and jobs, and leaving the institution. (See sidebar “Guidelines for Super­
vision by Classification Custody Level, pages 81–83.”)

■	

Personality type. Some agencies/facilities house inmates by personality/
behavior type, matching them with staff whose supervisory styles are most suit­
able. This housing management method requires special inmate management
training and careful, if any, rotation of staff (unless staff being rotated have
been adequately trained).

■	

Disciplinary detention. Detention units require enough posts to take into
account that most agencies mandate that two officers be present to lock and
unlock doors for inmates, especially on day shifts during showers and other
activities. An administrative segregation unit requires even more staff because
certain services, programs, and hearings have to be provided on the unit. These
units require the same type of post supervision as maximum/supermaximum
custody units (see sidebar “Guidelines for Supervision by Classification Cus­
tody Level”).

■	

Medical, mental health, and age-related needs. Medical, mental health, and
geriatric housing units may not require as much supervision as other units
because medical and mental health staff enter and leave the unit regularly. The
nature of the work, however, differs substantially from supervision of generalpopulation inmates and requires specially trained officers who work exclusively
in the unit and do not rotate to other posts. Some inmates in mental health
units must be observed constantly to prevent self-mutilation and suicide and,

SPECIAL GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING HOUSING UNITS

in many instances, restraints must be used. (In some agencies, inmates in these
units are supervised by mental health workers, in others, by officers.) On day
shifts, posted officers spend about one-fourth of their time conducting security
procedures (primarily entry/exit procedures), about one-third managing the
inmates’ daily regimen (bathing, dining, cleaning), and the balance facilitating
medical/mental health and other activities (e.g., visiting, counseling, casework).
The evening and/or night shifts require more security and less supervision of
inmates’ regimen and activities. Supervision policy and procedure vary across
state systems.
■	

Therapeutic needs. A therapeutic community (e.g., for substance abusers)
provides structured living and requires strict accountability. In these units,
counselors supervise intense and sustained activities with a program focus.
Good posting practice requires that these posts be occupied by specially trained
officers who work exclusively in the unit and do not rotate to other posts. On
day shifts, posted officers spend about one-fourth of their time conducting light
security procedures (mainly accountability and substance-abuse surveillance);
very little time managing inmates’ daily regimen, except for meal distribution
(because the program includes these responsibilities); a third of their time fa­
cilitating program activities; and the balance managing inmate visits, supplies,
commissary services, and so forth. The evening shift requires only slightly less
activity, but the night shift performs mainly security functions. Supervision
policy and procedure vary across state systems.

■	

Participation in work programs. Some administrators house certain types
of work crews (e.g., industries, kitchen, laundry, maintenance, work releasees,
prereleasees) in separate housing units. This arrangement allows management to
close the housing post during work hours so that the post occupant can be rede­
ployed elsewhere (for relief of other posts during staff mealtimes, for example).
Such an arrangement requires provision for inmates on sick leave or taking visits.
Other than for closing the post during prisoner work hours and redeploying its
occupant, this housing unit post functions according to custody level.

Method of Supervision
There are two operational philosophies of inmate supervision that translate into
two supervision styles: direct supervision and indirect supervision.
Direct supervision is based on the belief that face-to-face, substantive communi­
cation contributes significantly to effective supervision. Using this style, staff can
defuse potential incidents between inmates, stay in touch with inmates to prevent
group disturbances, explain policies and procedures, enforce rules informally and
fairly, and serve as role models for good behavior. Administrators who choose
this method place emphasis on officers posted in the housing units being specially
trained to interact effectively with inmates while moving about, orchestrating rou­
tines and activities, and seeing to the safety and security of the unit.

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Indirect supervision is based on the belief that face-to-face interaction with
inmates is outweighed by the risk of harm to the officer. On a more practical note,
administrators may choose indirect supervision because one officer can control
a larger number of inmates, thereby saving personal services funds. Indirect
supervision requires barriers between posted officers and inmates (e.g., officers
stationed in a control room with access to locking controls for the unit). Indirect
supervision posts are by nature fixed, unless they are used in combination with
direct supervision (e.g., “rovers” who move through the housing unit to perform
duties such as security checks).
In many jurisdictions, administrators of more modern facilities choose to combine
indirect and direct supervision, believing that the two forms work together to pro­
vide the most effective supervision. Many housing units are designed so that one
control room post can control unit doors and cell locking for two to four housing
units, freeing direct-supervision officers in the units to conduct their duties with
greater safety and less time and motion. On a more practical note, combining the
two forms of supervision increases flexibility because it allows the number of
posts to vary widely according to the priority for filling them, availability of staff,
and availability of funds to support the number of posts desired.
Unit management, widely considered the preferred type of supervision, uses not
only direct supervision but minimal rotation of staff in a housing unit. This semi­
autonomous form of management can be staff intensive, depending on the version.
For example, some forms of unit management require exclusive officer assign­
ments and keep many functions and services in the unit instead of having inmates
access them in other parts of the facility; other forms keep only food service, mail,
commissary, and sick call in the unit. Although the number of officers who escort
inmates may be reduced because so many of the facility’s functions and activities
take place in the unit, the total number of officers required to bear the workload in
the unit may increase.
Unit’s 24-Hour Routine and Activities
Each facility has a daily routine and activities that influence the number and type
of posts throughout. The housing unit, the facility’s microfacility, has yet another
important layer of routines and set of activities. The workflow and workload of
these routines and activities must be examined to determine the number of posts
required to operate the unit.
In terms of security, the location of inmates during the course of the day deter­
mines the level of duty for the post. When evaluating a post, it is important to
know what times inmates are out of their cells/rooms and in the unit for activities
as well as the times they are outside the housing unit for particular functions,
programs, and activities.
Ideally, the post’s workload should be spread throughout the day as much as
possible. The period from when the inmates wake until the close of normal

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SPECIAL GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING HOUSING UNITS

business will certainly always be the busiest. Analysts should, however, evalu­
ate the morning/day shift to ascertain whether certain morning activities can be
deferred until later in the day. When the unit does not have a relatively even flow of
activity, it can become a hectic, tense place where no one, neither staff nor inmate,
feels comfortable.
When logjams of activity occur frequently, and especially if a high-profile in­
cident occurs during one of those times, staff may believe that there is a critical
need for an additional post. If the analyst does not recognize that the schedule al­
lows sick call, showers, sanitation work, maintenance inspections, and chaplains’
visits to occur at the same time, he/she might make the mistake of adding a post
instead of recommending modifications to the unit schedule.
It is therefore important to examine the unit’s workload in light of its schedule. A
well-documented logbook reveals the actual flow of activity over several days. If
documentation is not available, the analyst should construct a schedule by inter­
viewing the post occupant(s) and then compare this with actual events with the
intended schedule.
Several typical problems can be solved by scheduling and rescheduling activities:
■	

Two or more mandatory housing unit routines (sanitation and meals, to cite
an extreme example) may be scheduled for the same time period. Although it
often is a simple matter to resolve scheduling conflicts, such conflicts can go
unresolved for years out of habit. The evaluator should catch the issue, discuss
it with the post occupant, and recommend a schedule change.

■	

Nonsecurity staff may show up to conduct business with inmates in the middle
of a routine activity. For example, if sick call is held on the unit, the medical
staff might show up just after a large group of inmates has been released from
their cells to shower. Such issues can be resolved by working with other disci­
plines to agree on manageable times.

■	

Several inmate services personnel may regularly show up to provide services
simultaneously. For example, laundry deliveries may occur at the same time
as the mail, commissary, medication, or food deliveries. If these workload
conflicts are not resolved by scheduling changes, they often lead to unnecessary
requests for more staffing.

The only sacred activities on the housing unit’s schedule are those associated with
safety and security. They are the last activities on the schedule to consider when
attempting to resolve workload and/or workflow conflicts for the housing unit.
Posts Requiring Specialized Screening and Training
In housing units for special populations (those other than general males in close,
medium, minimum, or community custody), post occupants should be screened
for the specific personality characteristics necessary for the work and should be

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given special training before they assume the posts. Although this does not change
the post plan, it may necessitate a staffing exception for the housing unit that dis­
allows specially trained staff from rotating among other posts in the facility.
Requiring specific staff for special populations has important implications. When
certain staff cannot rotate through posts, scheduling can become problematic. In
addition, money must be spent to provide special skills training to post occupants
before they assume the posts, and if a trained staff member is unavailable for a
post at any given time, overtime expenditures may become necessary. Following
are examples of populations that require specially trained post occupants:
■	

Inmates in transition (i.e., in reception areas) who are likely to be unstable.

■	

Female inmates with special needs (e.g., inmates in the last stages of pregnancy
or mothers with children in the unit).

■	

Inmates under disciplinary detention or administrative segregation (e.g., in­
mates with a high potential for violent behavior or highly agitated inmates).

■	

Older inmates (e.g., patients with dementia or suffering from physical
deterioration).

■	

Inmates with medical needs (e.g., chronically ill or severely disabled inmates).

■	

Inmates with mental health needs (e.g., inmates who are threatening suicide or
are experiencing side effects of psychotropic medications).

Be sensitive to the implications of specialized posts and take them into account,
especially with regard to scheduling and rotation.
Physical Environment
The relationship between the physical structure of the housing unit, the housing
unit post(s), and the inmates under supervision is complex. Following are some of
the many physical characteristics that may influence decisions about post duties
and the number of posts required:

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■	

Housing design. Housing design (e.g., pod, cellblock, single or double cells,
multioccupancy rooms, dormitory) is the most influential factor in staffing. The
shape and internal configuration of housing space govern a post’s capability of
functioning within that space. Some designs afford security and flexibility in
staffing, while others are more restrictive and even dangerous. (See “Examples
of Housing Unit Designs With Staffing Flexibility,” page 77.) Design is also the
most difficult feature to modify to improve function.

■	

Presence of video surveillance in some or all cells in the unit. In some in­
stances, such equipment substitutes for human presence, although a post should
be assigned to monitor the video screen(s). Video surveillance can compensate
for poor sightlines and also is a helpful tool in suicide watches.

SPECIAL GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING HOUSING UNITS

■	

Presence of an officer station. It is best to avoid establishing a post equipped
with a computer or other device that cannot be left. A desk or folding table
can be strategically placed for observation, is not as restrictive in posting, and
fosters more direct supervision.

■	

Presence of an intercom system and/or radio communication devices.
Access to this equipment enhances security and backup and can sometimes
substitute for another officer when it is difficult for one officer to attend to the
needs of a large number of inmates. This is particularly true if the inmates are
confined in locked cells most of the time. An intercom system allows staff and
inmates to interact during the night shift, when it is desirable to remove posts
from inside the housing units and use roving posts for intermittent supervision.

■	

Capacity and configuration of dayroom space. The dayroom should be
configured to ensure efficient pathways that do not put officers in undue physi­
cal jeopardy. Thus, fixed tables and chairs must be configured for best control
and observation. Consider inmate and staff security when making any decision
regarding placement, type, and number of pieces of furniture. These consider­
ations are especially important for indirect supervision.

■	

Sightlines. The ability to observe all cell fronts, functional spaces (e.g., bath­
room facilities), stairwells, and dayroom movement from very strategic physi­
cal positions is critical for both direct supervision by a floor officer and indirect
supervision from a control room. Sometimes an agency or facility may assign
additional officers because of observation issues. In posting, it is important to
consider all options for solving sightline problems before adding a post. Con­
sider, for example, using strategically placed mirrors, adding lighting in dark
spots, closing in alcoves, and removing risers in stairs.

■	

Lighting in common areas and in cells/rooms/unit offices. If lighting does
not provide adequate visibility, additional lights or wattage may be required for
both direct and indirect surveillance in the unit.

■	

Sound effects. If there is inadequate baffling in a large housing unit, officers
(supervising directly or indirectly) cannot detect sound irregularities that might
indicate security problems. Simple modifications to absorb echoes and rever­
beration can sometimes heighten the safety and security of the housing unit.

■	

Method and source of locking and unlocking. The unit’s type of locking
system (electronic versus key, control room, podium board, or screen inside the
housing unit) is an immediate determining factor for staffing. For example, if
a control room is located outside a housing unit and an unprotected redundant
lock control panel is at an officer station (fixed post) inside the housing unit,
the inside post has little flexibility. The posts cannot be collapsed when any
inmate is out of his/her cell; the control room officer cannot assume control
of the unit unaided unless all inmates are locked down. While key distribution

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under certain circumstances can be managed with a simple handoff, control
panels cannot be handed off. Also, if the outside control room post does all
locking and unlocking of unit doors, the control room post cannot be collapsed.

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■

Whether/when cells/rooms are left open or inmates have keys to their cells/
rooms. When sleeping areas are left open, more surveillance is required to
prevent theft and vandalism of others’ property. When inmates have keys that
are used under strict rules (in lower custody situations) the level of surveillance
may decrease.

■

Proximity of a control room that supports the unit. The presence of a large
control room with two posts in close proximity to a housing unit may enable
the second post to be collapsible.

■

Number and functionality of dedicated spaces inside the unit for profes­
sional program functions and service delivery (e.g., classrooms; arts and
crafts and equipment storage; rooms for sick call, counseling, group therapy,
and medication administration; computer stations; recreational area). When
other staff are in the unit for periods of time during a shift, the post evaluator
may consider reducing the number of posts by collapsing them during those
times.

■

Locking of all dedicated rooms other than cells/rooms. The more rooms,
the more to lock; the more locking (unless it is done remotely), the more posts
required for the unit.

■

Rooms/cells for constant observation of ill or unstable inmate(s). In mental
health units (and sometimes reception units) in some facilities, constant watch
cells require temporary posts for the duration of the watches.

■

Alarm buttons and their locations. If alarm buttons are strategically placed,
visual backup can be intermittent and spaced at longer intervals. If the offices
where counselors, nurses, chaplains, and other nonsecurity staff work with in­
mates are equipped with alarm buttons, the need for a security post to maintain
strict surveillance is less critical.

■

Location of showers. Showers require close observation when in use. Depend­
ing on the unit’s configuration, if other scheduled activities are taking place
while showers are being used, an additional post may be needed. Both the loca­
tion and the schedule influence posting.

■

Location of cleaning utilities and equipment. Although these storage areas
normally remain closed and locked, they require the attention of a housing unit
post when open. This is another important example of how the number of posts
should be adjusted according to the type and schedule of activities within the
unit.

SPECIAL GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING HOUSING UNITS

Other Factors
Staffing analysts must consider a few other issues when evaluating security staff­
ing in housing units. Although the following issues do not fit in the categories
enumerated above, they still influence staffing significantly:
■	

The number and types of nonsecurity staff working in the unit.

■	

The duration and frequency of the presence of professional/nonsecurity staff in
the unit.

■	

Mental health, counseling, and medical staff’s perceived needs for security
while working in the unit.

■	

Union contract provisions for staff/inmate ratios in a housing unit.

Nonsecurity staff who work regularly or intermittently in the unit (e.g., medical,
mental health, counseling, commissary, food service, mail workers) may augment
the staffing complement but also may either pose or reduce security risks, thereby
dictating the need for either fewer or more staff. For example, higher custody
levels may require more officers to protect nonsecurity staff than lower custody
levels. On the other hand, if nonsecurity staff are only present for short periods
of time, a reduction or increase in officers is probably not necessary because the
officers’ duties are not likely to be disrupted. In evaluating such situations, the
staffing analyst cannot overlook the power of the union contract to affect the
complement.

Examples of Housing Unit Designs With Staffing
Flexibility
Several housing unit designs provide good opportunities for different levels of
staffing. Two such designs are discussed here: (1) two adjacent units joined by a
control room and hallway and (2) a quadrangle of four units surrounding a foyer
with a central control room.
Two Adjacent Units Joined by a Control Room and Hallway
The housing design shown in exhibit 10 is made up of two units that share a con­
trol room with the following characteristics:
■	

Observation of both units with sightlines that allow the officer to see all cell
fronts.

■	

Capability to communicate with dayroom occupants.

■	

Capability to communicate with cell occupants.

■	

Capability to lock and unlock cell and unit doors.

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Both units have access to the control room; conversely, the control room post can
move into either unit. A common hallway gives access to the housing units as well.
The units can be staffed by one to three officers. Robust staffing allows for three
officers: one in each of the housing units and one in the control room. All the of­
ficers have one another as instant backup, and the control room officer provides
all locking/unlocking and is available for constant communication with staff and
inmates.
A step down in staffing numbers allows one officer to remain in the control room
and one officer to float between the units. The control room officer handles the
tasks as described above but may also leave the control room to directly supervise
inmates. If continuous observation of both units is required, the control room of­
ficer can supervise both units under indirect supervision, with direct communica­
tion still available electronically.
Exhibit 10. Schematic Design of Two Adjacent Units Joined by a
Control Room and Hallway

If intermittent supervision is allowed, one officer can enter the hallway intermit­
tently from without and check both units, entering either unit by key if necessary,
and/or use the control room to communicate with either unit as necessary.
Quadrangle of Units Surrounding Foyer With
Central Control Room
The housing design shown in exhibit 11 is quite flexible, and variations on this
configuration are popular in new prison construction. The design is composed
of four housing units joined by a hallway/foyer that contains a control room at
the center.
The control room features include:
■	

78

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Observation of all four units with sightlines that allow the officer to see into the
units, assisted by video surveillance.

SPECIAL GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING HOUSING UNITS

■

Capability to communicate with dayroom occupants.

■

Capability to communicate with cell occupants.

■

Capability to lock and unlock cell and unit doors.

Because the complex can operate with as many as six officers and as few as one, it
is a configuration that can be staffed up or down according to activity levels. With
this housing design, it is particularly important for the staffing analyst to know the
schedule of housing activities. At peak levels, all posts may be needed, but when
activities are controlled and staggered, posts can be collapsed and used in other
parts of the facility. Only on the morning shift will full posting be required, and
even then, opportunities to collapse posts may occur. At night, only the control
room and the hallway need be staffed.
This and other innovative configurations allow flexibility and point to the im­
portance of working with housing unit and facility schedules to exploit staffing
possibilities.
Exhibit 11. 	Schematic Design of Four Units Surrounding a Foyer With a
Central Control Room

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!. ...?'I t

1':.

'~ ".f '''.' "'.
I I

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CHAPTER 10

Tips on Designing Housing for New Facilities
■	

When designing a new facility, recognize that the part of the design with the potential to waste or
save the most money is the housing unit.

■	

Design housing units to allow flexibility in staffing up or down, according to the conceivable
variations in the unit’s use.

■	

Be careful in choosing indirect or direct supervision; avoid establishing fixed posts whenever
possible.

■	

Recognize that combinations of indirect and direct supervision, when designed carefully according
to locking responsibilities and sightlines, can increase staffing flexibility, allowing a post of either
type to collapse (or even be closed) in response to prevailing conditions.

■	

Consider designing housing units with fittings for additional beds and with generous amounts of
equipment so that when inmate numbers increase, both equipment and beds can be increased
without significant increases in the staffing pattern.

■	

In designing units that will house the same custody levels, explore opportunities to segment/
partition the units so that one or more of the unit’s posts can be collapsed for periods of time.
For example, if the security level of the unit is medium and if the unit is designed with three dis­
creet spaces for housing, then an administrator may assign inmates who go to work or to industry
assignments during the first shift on Monday through Friday to one of the discreet spaces. If a post
is assigned to that space, it can be collapsed during the first shift on Monday through Friday and be
opened on Saturdays and Sundays.

■	

Look for opportunities for efficiency and savings in the housing unit’s scheduling patterns
and cycles.

Prototypical Housing Unit Staffing
Large agencies with numerous facilities find it advantageous to define default
staffing for housing units of similar design. Prototypical staffing saves time and
effort in the posting process and establishes uniformity across facilities in the
agency, precluding wardens from concluding that favor has been shown to a sister
facility whose similar housing units have been granted more staff.
To set up a staffing prototype, locate and categorize housing units that are similar
in design and function and study each unit type according to the variables dis­
cussed above. Recommend standardization of staffing patterns where appropriate
and develop contingencies for staffing units differently for a range of possible
situations. It is also necessary to specify the staffing patterns for the different pri­
ority levels for filling the posts.
During an analysis, if one or more of the variables have changed so that staffing
patterns must change, refer to the guidelines that have been offered in this manual
and make recommendations accordingly. The only issue with prototypical staffing is
that a situation may arise that demands change but for which there is no guideline.
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SPECIAL GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING HOUSING UNITS

Guidelines for Supervision by Classification Custody Level
Supervision policy and procedure vary across state systems.

Maximum Custody
Maximum custody inmates require the greatest degree of supervision because of the significant danger
they pose to others and/or the institution. Inmates are classified as maximum custody on the basis of
criminal history, institutional misbehavior, escape history, and/or high-profile crime(s). These inmates
are subject to the greatest degree of observation and most stringent security and are restricted to their
cells most of the time. Maximum custody inmates require restraints when moving in the institution and
hand and leg restraints. They require armed supervision on trips outside the secure perimeter (e.g.,
court appearances or urgent health issues). In housing units, maximum-custody inmates are kept in
their cells unless there is cause for them to leave their cells (including highly supervised group activities
such as dining, recreation, works, and programming).

High/Close Custody
High/close-custody inmates have demonstrated by their conduct in the community (e.g., serious
crimes) and/or their prior institutional behavior (e.g., assault, escape history) that they pose a threat
to the safety and security of other inmates and staff and, therefore, require continual supervision
and accountability. These inmates are not allowed outside the facility’s secure perimeter except when
escorted to court or for health care issues, are prohibited from participating in programming requiring
movement outside the secure perimeter, and are constantly observed while inside the unit. On trips
outside the secure perimeter, hand and leg restraints and sometimes armed supervision are required. In
housing units, these inmates are under continual indirect and/or direct supervision (according to hous­
ing design) and are confined to their cells unless there is cause (and usually a schedule) for their being
out for routine activities. Posted officers spend up to half of their time conducting security procedures,
more than a third of their time managing inmates’ daily regimen, and the balance in facilitating activi­
ties (e.g., visiting, counseling, medical care, group recreation, supervised work crews, industries).

Medium Custody
Medium-custody inmates require less supervision than those in close custody but more than minimal
supervision. They are assigned to regular quarters and are eligible for all regular work assignments and
activities under a normal level of supervision. Medium-custody inmates are not eligible for work details
or programs outside the perimeter unless supervised, and their inside movements (except call-outs)
are subject to the issuance of passes. Restraints must be used on these inmates for any outside move­
ment except supervised work or program assignments. In housing units, medium-custody inmates are
under continual indirect or direct supervision (according to housing design), but are not continually
confined to their cells/rooms, except at night. Posted officers spend about a third of their time conduct­
ing security procedures, about a third managing inmates’ daily regimen, and the final third facilitating
activities (e.g., visiting, commissary, counseling, medical care, group recreation, supervised work crews,
industries).
Continued on next page.

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Guidelines for Supervision by Classification Custody Level (continued)
Minimum/Low Custody
Minimum/low-custody inmates have demonstrated acceptable institutional behavior and are not
deemed a threat to the community. They are not continually confined to their rooms, do not need a
pass to move within the facility, and may participate unescorted in outside programs and work details
on a time-restricted basis. In housing units, supervision of these inmates may be intermittent. Posted of­
ficers spend less than a fourth of their time conducting security procedures and about a fourth manag­
ing inmates’ daily regimen; about half their time is spent facilitating activities (e.g., visiting, commissary,
counseling, medical care, group recreation, programming, supervised work crews, industries).

Community Custody
Community-custody inmates, who are assigned to community residential facilities or halfway houses,
work and participate in educational programs and other activities in the community. These inmates
are deemed to present the least risk to the community and therefore require only periodic supervision
appropriate to the circumstances of their particular program or job assignment. In housing units, an
officer or counselor is on duty at all times, and inmates abide by house rules of accountability and be­
havior. Activity is much less restricted than in minimum custody. Posted officers spend a fourth of their
time conducting security procedures (particularly checking with inmates’ employers), about a fourth
managing daily regimen, and about half their time arranging transportation and facilitating activities
(e.g., visiting, commissary, counseling, medical care, group recreation, programming).

Unclassified (Admission/Transient)
Inmates with an unclassified custody level have not been assessed formally because they are new
admissions or because they are in transit from one facility to another. Since their risk to others and
to the facility has not yet been researched, they are managed according to close-custody supervision
guidelines.In housing units, these inmates are normally kept in their cells except for hygiene-related
activities, controlled exercise, and interviews. Posted officers spend a third of their time conducting
security procedures, a third managing daily regimen, and the balance in facilitating activities (e.g., visit­
ing, counseling, medical care, casework, testing, classification interviews and hearings).

Multiple Custody Levels in One Housing Unit
Unless separation of custody levels allows for differentiation of security procedures, the security proce­
dures for the highest level represented are required in the housing unit and throughout the facility.

Special Statuses That Override Custody Levels for Supervision
■	 Administrative Segregation (often characterized as “supermaximum security”). Inmates in this
status have been adjudged a critical threat to institutional security by administrative hearing rather
than the classification process and assigned to administrative segregation, the highest level of
physical and supervisory security. Inmates on death row are classified as maximum custody, but are
housed in supermaximum units. These inmates are cuffed leaving their cells and units and uncuffed
on return. Posted officers must devote most of their time to elaborate security procedures and
managing the inmates’ daily regimen, which is limited to bathing, dining, exercising, and very little
activity, all of which takes place in the housing unit.

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Guidelines for Supervision by Classification Custody Level (continued)
■	 Protective Custody (not actually a custody level, but a status). Inmates who request, or who are
deemed by staff to be in need of, protection from other inmates because their safety or lives are in
jeopardy are administratively assigned to protective custody. These inmates are housed in an area
separate from the general inmate population. They are moved under direct supervision and apart
from general population inmates to ensure that there is no contact with potential assailants. Their
programming, visiting, recreation, and dining are conducted separately from other inmates.
■	 Special Needs Status. Inmates who have special medical, mental health, and programming needs
(e.g., residential substance abuse therapy) are frequently, but not always, housed in separate hous­
ing units where all activities and services are performed and where supervision is performed along­
side professional therapists and medical personnel.

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CHAPTER 11

The Impact of Staff Scheduling on Staffing

Some practitioners say that scheduling is a separate matter from staffing analysis,
and they are correct that training in staffing analysis need not dwell on scheduling.
However, when practitioners in agencies are developing schedules, they should
calculate the number of days the schedule will produce per officer per year. It is
not a pleasant surprise to learn, for example, that a newly implemented schedule
has brought about the necessity for overtime.
During an NIC seminar on prisons, Gail Elias and John Milosovich discussed the
shift relief factor and alluded to the impact of scheduling:
Just as there are many factors that influence the staffing pattern, there are
many determinants of the availability factor. These are typically items
associated with personnel, such as staff schedules and work cycles. . . .
[N]ot all schedules are equally advantageous to management. Some
schedules provide employees with much more regularly scheduled time
off. For example, a standard 5 days on, 2 days off schedule results in staff
working 261 days a year, but a standard 6 days on, 3 days off (even with
a slightly longer work day) results in staff working 245 days a year—
before other types of leave.1
In NIC’s Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails (2d edition), Dennis R. Liebert and
Rod Miller recommend using the staff coverage plan (i.e., the post plan) to devel­
op an approach to staffing that will efficiently meet the facility’s coverage needs.
Observing that “substantial creative effort is needed to develop an efficient and
reasonable schedule,” they advise approaching scheduling as a means to an end:
“A good schedule will deploy employees in an efficient way to meet coverage
needs and will enhance employee morale, job satisfaction, and job performance.”2
The following sections on creating a schedule, using different work schedules, and
evaluating alternative work schedules are reprinted (with minor modifications)
from Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails (2d edition), pages 17–18, with permis­
sion of the authors and publisher.
1

Gail L. Elias and John Milosovich, Allocation and deployment of personnel. NIC Prisons Special Seminar,
Lafayette, LA, 1999.

2

Dennis R. Liebert and Rod Miller, Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails, 2d edition (Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 2003).

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85

CHAPTER 11

Creating a Schedule
Scheduling requires decisions about when individual staff will work. Staff schedul­
ing usually follows two basic cycles: 7 days (standard approach, with three 8-hour
shifts per day) and 6 days (4 days on, 2 days off). In Planning and Evaluating Jail
and Prison Staffing, F. Warren Benton describes five additional approaches:3
■	

Four days, 10-hour shifts (4/10): Applicable when the activity to be super­
vised spans more than a standard 8-hour shift.

■	

Flextime: Applicable when completing the work does not require set hours of
a shift and advantageous to the facility when several employees’ hours can be
arranged so that more workers are present during times of peak demand.

■	

Shift assignment variation: Applicable when it is desirable to assign particu­
lar employees to work special shifts or hours or to move a facility function to a
different shift more suitable for the work.

■	

Part-time employment: Applicable when a staff person is needed only for
peak hours of a shift and advantageous to the facility, which can avoid the ad­
ditional costs associated with full-time staff

■	

Split shifts: Applicable when breaking 8 work hours into separate segments
that allow employees to be present during times of peak demand.

Many corrections facilities use one or more of these approaches with success. The
4/10 pattern may work for an officer assigned to supervise an 8-hour inmate work
crew; a 10-hour shift allows time to set up and wrap up each day. Flextime does
not work well for posts that require continuity, such as a control center, but may
prove productive for certain positions with varying hours, such as counselors and
assistant administrators.
Many jurisdictions have adopted two 12-hour shifts with varying degrees of suc­
cess and satisfaction. Although it may initially appear that fewer staff are needed
to provide coverage, this is not true. Whether deploying staff for 8- or 12-hour
shifts, the same number of staff hours is needed for complete coverage. A 12-hour
shift configuration may seem less demanding because staff are scheduled for
fewer shifts, but the overall math—and corresponding costs—will not change.
Some jurisdictions moved to 12-hour shifts in response to chronic problems with
scheduling staff for 8-hour shifts. Shortages prompted mandatory assignment of
staff to extra shifts, often resulting in a 16-hour workday when a staff member
was required to work two consecutive shifts. Staff often support 12-hour shifts
because they eliminate the option of working two consecutive shifts. When
considering 12-hour shifts, administrators must weigh all of the issues and should
involve staff in the decisionmaking process.

3

F. Warren Benton, Planning and Evaluating Jail and Prison Staffing (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of
Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 1981).

86

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T H E I M PA C T O F S TA F F S C H E D U L I N G O N S TA F F I N G

Shift patterns have become more important in light of the U.S. Supreme Court
decision in Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority (105 S. Ct. 1005
(1985)). In this decision, a divided court overturned an earlier ruling in National
League of Cities v. Usery (426 U.S. 833 (1976)), which exempted most traditional
local government activities from the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards
Act. The immediate result for many corrections facilities was the restructuring
of schedules to avoid paying mandatory overtime. In November 1985, Congress
passed Public Law 99–150, which eased the impact of Garcia, allowing compen­
satory time to be awarded as an option but requiring it to be given at the rate of
1.5 hours per 1 hour worked.
Many corrections facilities have explored shift assignment variations and have
found that rotating assignments too frequently (more often than every 2 or 3
months) is not successful because staff have difficulty adapting to new hours. They
have also found that flexibility in assigning shifts offers a good management tool.
Many corrections facilities hire part-time employees. Part-time staff can be effec­
tive in the right situation, but they are often used inappropriately to reduce costs
(because they usually receive a lower base wage and often do not receive benefits).
As a rule, using part-time staff for routine shift assignment should be avoided. Parttime staff can appropriately be used to fill in for regular staff when full-time staff
are not available or to meet needs that do not rise to a full shift level.
Shift pattern variations are virtually limitless. One source of many examples is
Manager’s Guide to Alternative Work Schedules, 2d edition, by W.L. Booth.4

Using Different Work Schedules
Changing work schedules can be emotional and initially difficult but may result in
certain benefits:
■

Improved staff morale as job satisfaction increases.

■

Less turnover, less sick time, and improved quality and quantity of work.

■

Financial savings due to the efficient use of staff.

Exhibit 12, a table drawn from Manager’s Guide to Alternative Work Schedules,
summarizes the descriptive statistics for 21 different alternative schedules and al­
lows comparison of the features of each schedule. The table depicts work schedules
that range from 8- to 12-hour days. The table does not include such scheduling
approaches as split shifts and flextime because they do not lend themselves to this
type of analysis.

4

Manager’s Guide to Alternative Work Schedules, 2d edition (1989) by W.L. Booth is available on loan from the
NIC Information Center, www.nicic.gov, or may be purchased from the publisher, the Institute of Police Technol­
ogy and Management, www.iptm.org.

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87

CHAPTER 11

Exhibit 12. Descriptive Statistics for Alternative Work Schedules
Shift 

8-hour workday

10-hour workday


12-hour workday

3-2

Shift characteristic

5-2

5-2

7-2

variable

5-2

6-2

6-2

7-2

4-3

4-2

5-3

6-3

7-3

3-4

4-3

5-4

3-3

6-4

4-4

5-5

7-7

Consecutive time
required

Hours per day


8

8

8

8

8

10

10

10

10

10

12

12

12

12

Days per week


5

5

3, 7, 5

6

6

7

4

4

5

6

3

4

5

7

First shift


5-2

5-2

3-2

6-2

6-2

7-2

10

4-2

5-3

6-4

3-3

4-4

5-5

7-7

Second shift


5-2

5-2

7-2

6-2

6-2

7-2

4-3

4-3

5-3

6-4

3-3

4-4

5-5

7-7

Third shift


5-2

5-2

5-2

6-2

6-3

7-3

4-3

4-3

5-4

6-4

None

None

None

None

Cycle of workdays and
off days


Work cycle schedule
Days per cycle
Cycles per yea r

21

21

21

24

24

28

21

20

25

30

12

16

20

28

17.33

17.33

17.33

15.17

15.56

13.00

17.33

18.20

14.56

12.13

30.33

22.75

18.2

13.00

Number of workdays
Per shift

5

5

3, 7, 5

6

6

7

4

4

5

6

3

4

5

7

Per cycle

15

15

15

18

18

21

12

12

15

18

6

8

10

14

Annually

260

260

260

273

262

273

208

218

218

218

182

182

182

182

Per shift

2

2

2

2

2 or 3

2 or 3

3

2 or 3

3 or 4

4

3

4

5

7

Per cycle

6

6

6

6

7

7

9

8

10

12

6

8

10

12

Annually

104

104

104

91

103

91

156

146

146

146

182

182

182

182

52

0-26

34-0

6

8

14

52

10

16

14

16

18

20

26

0

0-26

34-0

14

14

0

0

18

12

10

18

12

10

0

Number of days off

Weekends off annually
Full
Partial
Number of other
days off

Holidays


9

9

9

9

9

9

7.2

7.2

7.2

7.2

6

6

6

6

Vacation


12

12

12

12

12

12

9.6	

9.6

9.6

9.6

8

8

8

8

0

0

0

13

2

13

0

10

10

10

9

9

9

9

260

260

260

273

262

273

208

218

218

218

182

182

182

182

Compensatory

Compensatory computation
Workdays per year X
Hours per day =
Total hours per year

8

8

8

8

8

10

10

10

10

10

12

12

12

12

2,080

2,080

2,080

2,184

2,096

2,730

2,080

2,180

2,180

2,180

2,184

2,184

2,184

2,184

Definition of terms: Compensatory computation is time earned (as enhanced pay or as time off) for work that exceeds the normal workweek. Cycle is the total
calendar days necessary for one staff member to rotate through three shifts.
Note: Holidays are based on the equivalent of nine 8-hour days per year. Vacation days are based on the equivalent of twelve 8-hour days per year.
Source: W.L. Booth, Manager’s Guide to Alternative Work Schedules, 2d edition (Jacksonville, FL: University of North Florida, Institute of Police Technology
and Management, 1989).

88

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T H E I M PA C T O F S TA F F S C H E D U L I N G O N S TA F F I N G

As discussed in chapter 8 and shown in exhibits 5 and 6 (pages 44 and 47), shift
relief factors vary according to work schedule because the number of hours or
days worked per year varies according to the schedule. Exhibit 12 shows that a
5/2 schedule has 260 work days per year, compared with 273 work days per year
for the 6/2 schedule, so staff working a 5/2 schedule work 13 fewer days per year.
The fewer work days per year, the higher the shift relief factor will be, because the
additional days off will have to be covered.
The 12-hour work schedule also provides more days off for employees and eases
scheduling issues, but this schedule is not less expensive for the agency either. Al­
though the state or county balances out the time worked in a year, it is important
to recognize what these creative or innovative schedules do to coverage levels.
Most nontraditional schedules are more convenient or advantageous to the em­
ployee but are never less expensive for the jurisdiction because of the higher relief
factors they require.

Schedule Highlights
8-Hour Schedule
■	

A 5/2 schedule (5 days on, 2 days off) has 260 workdays annually, 

compared with 273 workdays for a 6/2 schedule.


■	

A 6/2 schedule only has 91 annual days off compared with 104 days 

for the 5/2 schedule. The difference is usually compensated in the 

form of 13 days of compensatory time.


■	

A 5/2 schedule results in 2,080 work hours per year, while a 6/2 

schedule has 2,184. 


10-Hour Schedule
■	

A 7/2 and 7/3 schedule has 273 workdays annually, whereas a 4/3 and
3/4 schedule has only 208.

■	

Most other 10-hour schedules average about 218 workdays per year.

■	

A 7/2 and 7/3 schedule results in 2,730 work hours per year, while a 

4/3 and 3/4 schedule has 2,080 work hours annually. 


12-Hour Schedule
■	

All 12-hour schedules shown in exhibit 12 have 182 annual workdays
and average 2,184 work hours annually.

■	

The only significant difference among the various 12-hour schedules
is the number of times an employee cycles through all shifts annually.
The number of annual cycles ranges from 13 to 30.33, depending on
the schedule.

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89

CHAPTER 11

Evaluating Alternative Work Schedules
When considering alternative work schedules, the factors listed below should be
weighed. Benefits and costs are often traded off as decisions are made.
■	

Hours of operation and timeframes. While many functions in corrections
facilities operate 24 hours per day, others may have substantially shorter hours
(e.g., visiting areas, public reception). Examine each function of the corrections
facility to find out if different work schedules would be effective.

■	

Days operated each week. Many corrections facility operations continue 7
days per week, but others may vary. For instance, a corrections facility may
operate an industry or work program that closes on weekends. Scheduling staff
for these functions might require alternative approaches.

■	

Objectives of the organization. The goals and objectives of the corrections
facility may suggest appropriate scheduling. If the corrections facility places a
high priority on inmate visiting, visiting hours might be scheduled at the conve­
nience of visitors rather than staff. As a result, work schedules might change.

■	

Levels of activity. Different components of the corrections facility might re­
quire more intense staffing. For example, maximum-security inmates are more
difficult to supervise during outdoor recreation, suggesting the need for ad­
ditional staff. A creative staffing plan might provide more staff for that function
through overlapping shifts.

■	

Employee contracts and labor laws. Any potential change in work schedules
must be evaluated in light of existing contracts and laws. Involving labor repre­
sentatives and legal counsel early in the process is advisable.

■	

Staff training. If it is difficult to provide inservice training for staff, alternative
schedules (such as overlapping shifts) may create new opportunities for this
key activity.

■	

Fatigue and productivity. Research indicates that longer workdays decrease
productivity but that the correspondingly shorter workweeks may offset fatigue.
Alternative work schedules must be carefully weighed to ensure that staff are
not overtired and less able to perform critical duties.

■	

Scheduling for different positions. Some new jobs created in the corrections
facility may be amenable to, or even require, alternative scheduling.

The decision to implement alternative work schedules will ultimately hinge on the
assessment of their feasibility and on whether the changes can be implemented
without too much disruption or negative reaction. The rewards for creative use
of alternative work schedules are often great enough to overcome most potential
logistical problems.

90

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CHAPTER 12

Staffing Calculations

Everyone wants to know the bottom line: How many staff does the plan require
and what will it cost annually to keep the posts filled? Just as important, the
agency administrator will want to know how many staff and which ranks are as­
signed to different types of posts.

Calculating Costs
Form F, “Total Staff Required and Total Cost by Security Rank,” provides a
format for calculating staffing costs. A completed example of form F is shown in
exhibit 13. A blank copy of the form is available in appendix B.
The data recorded in part 2, “Recommended Post Plan,” of form D, “Post Evalu­
ation and Planning Instrument” are used to complete form F and to perform other
staffing calculations. To complete form F:
1. In column A, list each rank shown in column 19 of form D.
2. For each rank, add the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff required.
Copy the total FTEs for each rank into the appropriate row in column B. (The
data shown in exhibit 13 are taken from column 37 of the example of form D
shown in exhibit 8, page 55.)
3. In column C, enter the average salary plus benefits for each rank during the 

most recent fiscal year. Obtain this information from the personnel office. 

(Normally, the average is calculated by dividing the total annual salary and 

fringe benefit expenditure for each security rank by the average number of 

filled positions during the same period.) 

4. For each rank listed in column A, multiply the average salary plus benefits 

(column C) by the total number of FTE positions (column B) and enter the 

result in column D.

5. Add the amounts in column D to obtain the total cost and enter that dollar
amount in the total row. In the example in exhibit 13, the total annual cost for
salaries and fringe benefits is $8,039,850 for 184 positions.
Having calculated the total staff required to provide coverage of the facility post
plan (or the agency post plans) and the total cost of the recommended post plan,

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91

CHAPTER 12

Exhibit 13. Example of Form F: Total Staff Required and Total Cost by
Security Rank
A
Security Rank

B

C

D

Total FTE
Staff Needed*

Average Salary
Plus Benefits ($)

Total Cost by
Classification ($)†

Major

1

68,250

68,250

Captain

3

60,450

181,350

Lieutenant

8

55,250

442,000

27

48,750

1,316,250

145

41,600

6,032,000

Sergeant
Correctional Officer
Total

184

8,039,850

FTE = full-time equivalent
*
Derived from form D, column 37.
†
Column C multiplied by column B.

Note: FTE numbers taken from example of form D shown in exhibit 8, page 55. Numbers have been rounded.


the staffing analyst is now prepared to assist the agency in presenting any requests
for funding to jurisdictional budget authorities.

Conducting Comparative Analyses
Tip: Using a computer
spreadsheet program,
such as Microsoft® Excel,
to enter your facility’s post
data into form D can make
it easier to sort the data by
priority and function. Excel
versions of all blank forms
in appendix B are available
for downloading from
the NIC website,
www.nicic.gov.

92

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There may be value in grouping and analyzing posts and their costs by function
or priority as well as by rank. Consider analyzing the information according to
various factors and conducting comparative analyses using data from the current
post plan versus the recommended post plan. Exhibit 13 shows how many FTEs
are required when all posts are filled and the costs associated with the full staffing
complement. It is also important to determine the number of FTEs and costs as­
sociated with collapsing all important posts and with collapsing all important and
essential posts. The number of FTEs and costs for each staffing complement can
be calculated by sorting the original post listing (form D, part 2, column 19) by
the priority for filling each post (form D, part 2, column 23). These calculations
will be important when you are:
■

Preparing budget requests to fund the recommended post plan.

■

Defending the request for personnel with the governing authority.

■

Identifying posts to eliminate in times of cost cutting or staff shortages.

■

Identifying potential problems related to staffing and costs.

■

Prioritizing use of overtime.

■

Determining the need for part-time staff to fill areas of need.

STAFFING CALCULATIONS

Lessons for Managers
Staffing costs represent such a large percentage of the overall operating costs of
an agency that knowing them is crucial not only to accurate budgeting but also
to good management. The staffing cost figure tells the manager how well the
facility’s post plans have been honed and how much the facility has improved in
reducing factors that drive the need for shift relief (e.g., absence rates).
Comparisons with prior costs start the learning exercise. If the staffing cost of the
new post plan is greater than the cost of the current post plan, what are the rea­
sons? Compare the recommended post plan with the current post plan, as follows:
1. For each job classification, compare:
■	

The per-staff figure for each cost calculation.

■	

The shift relief factor.

■	

Total FTEs.

Tip: When the cost of
each element of a post
plan becomes readily
apparent, agency admin­
istrators frequently seek
ways to improve specific
operations while becom­
ing more cost efficient in
the process. This exercise
should be ongoing rather
than one that is enter­
tained only when costs are
questioned.

2. Calculate the differences.
3. Look at the underlying data for each of the factors:
■	

Have either the salary or the benefits increased in any of the job 

classifications?


■	

Has the tenure of the staff in any of the classifications increased or 

decreased?


■	

Have absences in any of the categories increased? If so, is there a 

management-related reason?


■	

Has the number of posts increased? Have facilities been added? Has the
type of facility supervision changed (e.g., to unit management or from
direct to indirect supervision)?

■	

Are there management decisions that might reduce expenditures?

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93

CHAPTER 13

Developing a Staffing Report

The work of the staffing analysis culminates in a report. This chapter is designed
to help the analyst bring together the results of the analysis into a document that
can be used to help others make decisions and take action accordingly. Writing
an effective report requires a clear understanding of the mission of the staffing
analysis—the reason the report is being written—and a strategy for drafting a
report that responds to that mission. This chapter reviews the two primary types
of staffing analyses and covers strategies for successfully targeting the report’s in­
tended audience, demonstrating the report’s credibility, choosing the correct points
to be made, and presenting the appropriate information in a logical and effective
manner.

Awareness of Mission
The content of the staffing analysis report will be determined by the reason for
conducting the analysis:
■	

Routine. These analyses are conducted in the normal course of business, and
the resulting reports are used as management and planning tools to support
agency actions, including the following:
• 	 Agencywide updating of post plans to be used for regular facility operations
and activities.
• 	 Budget requests to fund additional staff positions.
• 	 Recommendations for operational improvements.
• 	 Planning for new facilities.
• 	 Management responses to changes in facility missions; inmate numbers,
types, and classifications; and so forth.

■	

Agenda driven. Staffing analyses done in response to exigent circumstances or
external demand are often conducted by consultants from outside the agency.
Following are several reasons for conducting agenda-driven analyses:
• 	 Governor’s budget office or legislative agenda to enact large budget cuts.
• 	 Court order to find out if staffing in agency facilities is sufficient to protect
inmates from harm (e.g., in the course of a conditions-of-confinement lawsuit).

Tip: If a staffing analysis is
being conducted by exter­
nal consultants for purpos­
es of external scrutiny that
is likely to be critical of the
agency, the agency may
want to consider conduct­
ing a parallel study so that
it can make an informed
case in response to the
external report.

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95

CHAPTER 13

Tip: Agency staff writing
a staffing analysis report
in response to external
scrutiny should take care
to avoid using defensive
language (e.g., “these cuts
may result in a 50-percent
increase in assaults over
the next year,” or “the
assault data for the posts
under question prove that
the allegations are false”).
The data should speak for
themselves.

• 	 Union accusations that insufficient staffing or inadequate deployment of staff
jeopardizes the safety of correctional officers.
• 	 A critical incident that brings into question strategic locations of posts.
When a staffing analysis is conducted for management and planning purposes,
the report should enumerate the security staff required for the agency to meet
changing security needs efficiently and economically. It may also answer specific
questions from the agency administrator pertaining to current agency and/or facil­
ity management issues (e.g., “To what extent should prototypical housing units be
staffed uniformly, and what is the leanest staffing for each prototype?”).
When a staffing analysis is done in response to an external agenda or demand, the
report should directly address the issue(s) in question rather than parse through
more general management data. In investigative cases, the entity ordering the in­
vestigation will often hire a consultant to do the work. In budget-cutting cases, the
governing or legislative authority may conduct the analysis, although the agency
may ask to conduct its own study so that it, not others, can choose where the cuts
are made.
If at all possible, the agency should conduct or assist in conducting the analysis.
It is in the agency’s best interest to be aware of the findings and to take remedial
action, if necessary, before being directed to do so by others.

Tip: Persons in executive
positions normally have
many documents to re­
view and normally search
a document quickly for
the “bottom line.” It is
important to anticipate
the needs of this audience
by presenting a synopsis
of the findings and recom­
mendations of the study
at the beginning of the
report. An executive
summary that summarizes
each issue and points
to the more elaborate
explanation in particular
chapters or pages is one
way to communicate your
message effectively.

96

|

Mindfulness of Audience
The staffing analysis report is directed to the agency administrator, others in top
management, and the facility administrators. Because the administrator is likely
to submit the report, in whole or in part, to funding authorities (e.g., Governor’s
budget office, budget and finance committees, judicial committees), the report
should consider their interests and concerns as well. If the staffing analysis is in­
tended to answer specific questions, those answers should be highlighted and well
documented.
A report on an agenda-driven staffing analysis should specifically address the
questions and concerns of the outside entity driving the analysis (e.g., court,
union, state auditor’s office). If the analysis was for the intent of budget cutting,
for example, the report should zoom in on cost savings, supported by valid and
verifiable numbers. Resist providing routine staffing analysis data when writing to
a panel investigating ill-conceived staffing that may have allowed for undue risk to
officers; instead, provide information that answers the panel’s specific questions.

Demonstration of Credibility
The report’s recommendations will more likely be accepted if both the author and
the methodology employed are credible.

DEVELOPING A STAFFING REPORT

Qualifications of the Author and Analysts
The author of a routine staffing analysis report that will be used as a management
tool is likely to be the agency’s staffing analyst in charge of the analysis. This ana­
lyst is likely to be known to the audience, so reciting qualifications is unnecessary.
If several analysts were involved, their qualifications should be cited.
An agency analyst writing an agenda-driven report should provide his/her quali­
fications. A consultant hired by the agency to conduct a staffing analysis should
also give a complete accounting of his/her credentials.
Credibility of the Methodology
Agency procedures for carrying out a management staffing analysis are probably
well known to the administrators receiving the analysis report. It does not hurt,
however, to review the procedures used. If the document is to go to governing
committee members, delineating the standard staffing analysis procedures will as­
sure them that the analysis is based on sound methodology.

Tip: If the staffing analysis
was conducted in response
to exigent circumstances
or external inquiry, it will
be particularly important
for the report’s readers to
understand its content.
Take into account the
intended audience’s famil­
iarity with staffing terms
as well as their intentions
for using the report. Write
clearly and avoid jargon.

Whether the analysis was conducted for management purposes or for external
reasons, the reader will want to know why the full-time-equivalent (FTE) numbers
provided are trustworthy. Citing the dates of the analysis lets the reader know
how current and diligent the work was, as does elaborating on the procedures and
checklists that were used to ensure accurate results. Persuasive information dem­
onstrating due diligence might include the following:
■	

Details of the research conducted so that the reader can ascertain the days of
availability for all job ranks and for every facility. (Consider listing hours rather
than days so that the availability figures are more specific.)

■	

Specific criteria used in evaluating posts.

■	

Particular focus on housing unit posts, which are likely to be the most numer­
ous type of posts in a facility (see chapter 10 for guidelines on evaluating hous­
ing units).

■	

Scrutiny of posts that relate to housing special populations (see chapters 15
and 16).

■	

Thorough justification for each post, not only on its own merit, but also in rela­
tion to adjacent posts.

Points To Be Made
Start with the mission and ask what points will serve it. The points in a report
of an analysis for management purposes are normally dictated by procedure and
stated objectives and, in general, should speak to findings that offer opportunities
for efficiency and economy.

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These two expectations of staffing analyses are almost universal in corrections.
Even if the bottom-line figures show decreases in the number of positions and
reductions in personal services costs, the report will best serve its purpose if the
recommended changes can be summarized to highlight the success of the work.
Examples of points to make follow:
■	

The number of positions has remained stable or decreased, either in fact
or in proportion to any addition of facilities or increase in population. If
fewer positions are required this year than the year before, draw comparisons
with the number of staff and the personal services budget, factoring in changes
and inflation.

■	

The number of posts ensures staff safety. Demonstrate how the variation
in the number of posts in specific areas affects staff safety by citing how the
number of injuries to or assaults on staff fluctuates with the degree to which
security staff are isolated from each other and/or are in greater direct contact
with the inmates.

■	

Applying physical modifications or technological applications will improve
efficiency and reduce personal services expenditures. Cite the recommenda­
tions related to physical improvements and use of technology. Compare the
capital costs for these recommended improvements with the projected longrange operational cost savings.

■	

Attention has been given to strategies for reducing unauthorized leave and
unexcused absences from work; these strategies will reduce the need for re­
lief staff and thereby reduce the number of positions, saving money. Cite the
types of leave and absences that have increased or decreased since the last analy­
sis; explain the reasons, if known; and list recommendations for improvement.

■	

Improvements in operations will be realized from the analysis. Isolate
efficiency-related recommendations. Relate them to their effects on costs.

The points in a report on an agenda-driven analysis should focus on findings spe­
cific to the agenda. Examples include the following:

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■	

Posts are located strategically to reduce risk of harm to staff. Briefly
explain how an analyst determines where security posts are located, their prox­
imity to each other in terms of physical distance and elapsed time, and their
visibility.

■	

The physical distance between posts permits human backup in less than
1 minute. Cite the distances between posts and describe the communications
devices that expedite backup.

■	

The incidents referenced in the inquiry are not statistically related to the
number of posts where the incidents occurred. Present the type, frequency,
and results of incidents by post for a 2-year period.

DEVELOPING A STAFFING REPORT

Logical and Effective Presentation
The organization of the report, like its content, depends on whether the staffing
analysis was routine or agenda driven.
Report for a Routine Staffing Analysis
A routine agency report might be organized as follows:
■	

Executive summary discussing agencywide issues, findings, aggregate statis­
tics, and recommendations.

■	

Reason for the analysis.

■	

Description of how the analysis was conducted.

■	

Agency factors/issues that influenced the analysis.

■	

Discussion of agencywide post study results accompanied by tables and/or
graphs summarizing the findings (comparative analyses optional).

■	

Discussion of agencywide shift relief factors (SRFs) and recommendations,
accompanied by tables and/or graphs summarizing the findings (comparative
analyses optional).

■	

Specific agencywide recommendations and ideas for implementation.

■	

Facility-by-facility findings:
• 	 Summary of salient and relevant characteristics such as mission, operations,
programs, services, location and state of physical plant, number and classifi­
cation of inmates, and schedule of activities.
• 	 Discussion of SRFs.
• 	 Summary of post planning results that includes a chart showing the number
of FTEs needed for coverage and discusses the nature of substantive changes
in the post plan since the last analysis.
• 	 Discussion of the total FTE requirements and costs of coverage with relief,
by priority for filling the post.
• Specific recommendations.
• 	 Implementation plans and issues.

■	

Appendixes, including all post plans, SRFs and calculations, underlying docu­
mentation, completed posting instruments, and justification for recommended
post modifications.

Report for an Agenda-Driven Staffing Analysis
An agenda-driven report should be designed to address the issues under scrutiny
and answer the specific questions that have been asked. Consider the following
example:

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CHAPTER 13

An officer was ambushed and killed with a homemade knife on the yard of
one of the agency’s medium security prisons. The incident attracted much
media attention. The bargaining unit went to court claiming that the agency
did not have enough officers in the housing units, on the prison yards during
recreation, or in the dining hall during meals. In addition, some posts lacked
adequate backup in case of emergency, and alarm equipment was not issued
as required for some posts. The court ordered the agency to conduct a staff­
ing analysis at the prison to ascertain what staffing changes might be made
to make the prison safer.
The staffing analysis in this example might pose the following questions:
■	

Is the number of posts in each area of the facility on each shift sufficient?

■	

Is the number of staff available sufficient to fill all required posts?

■	

Are staff properly oriented and trained in the duties to be performed at
each post?

■	

Were all the authorized posts filled at the time the incident occurred?

■	

Were officers issued all of the equipment they were authorized to have?

■	

Were staff assigned to certain posts designated as first responders, and were
they in a position to respond immediately?

A logical and effectively presented report would include the following elements:

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■	

Executive summary discussing facilitywide issues, findings, and recommenda­
tions that address the specific questions and issues that prompted the agency to
conduct the analysis.

■	

Statement of the reason for the analysis, specifying who asked what to be done
by when.

■	

Detailed description of how the analysis was conducted, what documents were
requested and received, and how agency staff were able to conduct the study
objectively.

■	

Description of the facility that clearly explains the context in which the incident
occurred.

■	

Discussion of the facilitywide post plan accompanied by tables and/or graphs
summarizing the findings.

■	

Discussion of the facility’s SRFs accompanied by tables and/or graphs sum­
marizing the findings (comparative analyses optional).

■	

Specific analysis of the staffing issues under study, drawing conclusions and
making recommendations.

DEVELOPING A STAFFING REPORT

■	

Presentation of results:
• 	 Summary of salient and relevant characteristics (e.g., mission, operations,
services, programs, location of physical plant, number and classification of
inmates, schedule of activities).
• 	 Summary of the results of the post analysis, including a chart illustrating the
number of staff required for coverage and any recommended changes in the
post plan since the incident.
• Specific recommendations.

Tip: Graphic representa­
tions, slides, poster boards,
and other visual enhance­
ments can be effective
additions to a staffing
analysis report, depending
on the circumstances of
the analysis and the
audience.

• 	 Implementation plans and issues.
■	

Appendixes (e.g., list of all documents requested, list of all documents received
and reviewed, all post plans and their SRFs and calculations, underlying docu­
mentation, completed posting instrument, and justification for recommended
post modifications).

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CHAPTER 14
Implementing Recommendations
and Monitoring Results

The analysis is of little consequence unless the agency administrator thoroughly
studies the recommendations, puts into effect those determined to be of value,
and then monitors the results. The entire implementation and monitoring process
should be viewed as an ongoing initiative to better deploy staff—the agency’s
most valuable resource.

Implementation
Change, good or bad, tends to be painful before it becomes satisfying. Whether
the implementation of staffing analysis recommendations is simple or compli­
cated, change in an organization requires careful and methodical management.
The recommendations derived from a staffing analysis may not have a broad
impact on the agency. Only one facility may be affected in a minor way, or, if an
agencywide staffing practice must undergo change, it may not require compli­
cated plans, tasks, and timelines. When staffing changes in one area affect other
areas, however, and/or if the change is to be implemented across all facilities, de­
tailed implementation planning becomes necessary. Managers must consider the
interactive effects of change. Staff must analyze and itemize the effects of each
change on the agency as a whole and on the facilities affected and plan not only
for the prescribed staffing change, but also for collateral change.
For example, if the staffing analyst recommends that posts in a functional unit,
such as transportation, go to 10-hour posts and a different staff scheduling pattern
(e.g., from 5 days per week to 4 days per week), other operations, units, and even
institutions might be affected (e.g., rear gate operations, inmate receiving and
discharge), necessitating detailed implementation planning. On the other hand, if
the analyst recommends that a post be removed because an inmate activity is be­
ing discontinued, only the officers normally assigned to the activity area may be
affected (e.g., an evening school program is discontinued and the two officer posts
in the school area are no longer needed 5 nights per week).
In approaching the implementation of recommendations, managers must first de­
cide which recommendations will be followed and which will be tabled. Sorting
recommendations into agency projects and facility projects is a sound strategy.
The projects must then be prioritized and sequenced and assigned to responsible

Tip: Implementing
changes initially in one
facility is wise when
multiple facilities are affect­
ed. Issues that arise at the
pilot site can be resolved
and the implementation
process modified before
change is introduced in
other facilities. Wholesale
implementation is almost
never the best option.

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CHAPTER 14

parties. Provisions must be made for expected and unexpected consequences.
Everyone involved directly and indirectly should be notified of and prepared for
the changes and should understand how the changes affect their lives.
Implementation should be completed within a reasonable timeframe if the
changes are to be successful. During implementation, it is important to watch for
indications that the changes are not proceeding according to plan and to be ready
to revise the implementation plan when necessary.

Monitoring
Monitoring can take two forms: tracking outcomes and ensuring that the plan is
being implemented in accordance with its requirements. Both are important.
Managers should decide on the indicators to be used to measure success. Indica­
tors of success should be quantifiable and related to the recommendations. Using
the conditions at the time of the analysis as a baseline, the measures should be
repeated over time to show the improvement in or aggravation of conditions. For
example, if an agency decides to implement a recommendation to reduce assaults
in housing units by adding a post in each unit, it might compare the number of
assaults that occurred in the 6 months following the addition of the new post with
the number that occurred during the 6 months preceding implementation.
In addition to monitoring results derived from implementing the new post plan,
managers will want to stay on top of how well the post plan is being followed. Is
the facility’s daily roster consistent with the approved post plan? Are authorized
posts being filled in keeping with that plan? Have posts been created or removed
without authorization from the approving authority?
A periodic staffing analysis is the obvious method of finding out how well agency
staffing is performing. A low-tech method of evaluation is to survey staff affected
by changes and other staff in a position to pass judgment on the effects of the
change. An automated data management system makes possible measurement
of indirect indicators of outcomes, for example, whether the affected staff’s use
of unscheduled or unauthorized leave has decreased or how long it takes to fill
vacancies.
As discussed in chapter 3, automation of staff deployment records facilitates mon­
itoring and tracking of post and staffing practices. Automation enables agencies to
efficiently record large amounts of data; update master and daily rosters and post
plans; perform comparative analyses; and generate staffing management reports.
Use of an automated data system to track post and staffing practices can eliminate
the need to conduct routine periodic post studies. The goal should be ongoing
staffing analysis through automation.

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I M P L E M E N T I N G R E C O M M E N D A T I O N S A N D M O N I T O R I N G R E S U LT S

The End and the Beginning
As with other aspects of correctional work, nothing stays the same. A facility’s
mission or inmate population levels can change. Financial resources can be divert­
ed to provide other government services. In anticipation of such events, it is best
to regularly reevaluate staffing needs and requirements and update the post plan.
One approach is to build in reevaluation as part of the agency’s annual or biennial
budget cycle. In some instances, this reevaluation will mean a full-scale analysis;
in others, a less intense reevaluation may be all that is needed.
In summary, the point of analyzing existing staffing practices and recommending
changes where needed is improvement. Managers should see positive staffing
change not as a static accomplishment but as an ongoing work in progress. At
each regular staffing analysis, the analyst should learn from what has occurred
during the interval between analyses and look for more ways to improve the ef­
ficiency of the staffing.

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PA R T 3

SPECIAL GUIDELINES AND
CONSIDERATIONS

Part 3. Special Guidelines and Considerations
Chapter 15. Staffing Considerations for Women’s Correctional
Facilities

Current Security Staffing Practices in Correctional Facilities for Women . . . . . 109

Cross-Gender Supervision of Female Inmates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116

Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 


Chapter 16: Staffing Considerations for Medical and Mental
Health Units

Rise in Medical and Mental Health Services in Corrections. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 

Current Security Staffing Practices in Medical and Mental Health Facilities . . . 122 

Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130


CHAPTER 15

Staffing Considerations for
Women’s Correctional Facilities

The differences in the risks and needs posed by male and female inmates have
been well documented.1 Only recently, however, have their implications for
security staffing decisions been explored.2 In response to concerns raised by the
field, the researchers explored how, if at all, the differences between male and
female inmates influence the number and type of security posts in correctional
facilities for women. The researchers also explored the troubling issue of crossgender supervision to help correctional administrators set parameters for male
staff members who supervise female inmates.
This chapter describes current security staffing practices in correctional facilities for
women, clarifies unique needs of female inmates that may affect security staffing
practices, and discusses considerations regarding placing male staff in correctional
facilities for women. The information is drawn primarily from three sources:
■	

A review of the correctional literature about the supervision of female offenders.

■	

“Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions,” a national inventory of state
and federal correctional agencies’ current experiences and practices for security
staffing in women’s correctional facilities.

■	

A focus group at which wardens of women’s facilities with exemplary and/or
innovative staffing practices discussed security staffing requirements for female
inmates and identified parameters for cross-gender staffing.

Current Security Staffing Practices in Correctional
Facilities for Women
In early 2004, 36 jurisdictions responded to a national inventory on “Staffing for
Women’s Correctional Institutions” (see appendix A). Their responses revealed
that, for the most part, their approaches did not differ from the approaches taken
in male prisons. Of the agencies that responded to the inventory:3
1

Barbara Bloom, Barbara Owen, and Stephanie Covington, Gender-Responsive Strategies: Research, Practice,
and Guiding Principles for Women Offenders (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of
Corrections, 2003).

2

B.G. Harding, Staffing Analysis for Women’s Prisons and Special Prison Populations, Special Issues in Correc­
tions (Longmont, CO: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections Information Center, 2002).

3

See appendix A, table 17.

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CHAPTER 15

■	

94.3 percent reported that no position or person is tasked to conduct staffing
processes specifically for women’s facilities.

■	

83.3 percent reported that they do not use female-specific methods to determine
the number of security staff required to support women’s institutions.

■	

88.2 percent indicated that they do not periodically conduct a specific review
of the security post plans for women’s institutions apart from the review con­
ducted for male institutions.

■	

80 percent reported that they do not use female-specific criteria for establish­
ing, adding, and/or deleting posts in women’s institutions and do not have a
security position/person who makes decisions to establish, add, and/or delete
security posts and positions based on the special needs of female offenders.

The focus group participants reiterated that female-specific considerations for securi­
ty staffing are not ordained by policy or procedure. The participants indicated that in
post plans for women’s correctional facilities, given comparable housing designs and
comparable populations with respect to custody level, the security staffing patterns
are identical to those in male correctional facilities. Several commented that agency
administrators responsible for setting security staffing levels would not approve the
use of more security staff in women’s facilities than in comparable men’s facilities.
Three areas emerged as significant considerations in security staffing for women:
medical and mental health needs, services/transports related to pregnancy, and
family visitations. The researchers’ findings on these three considerations are pre­
sented in the following sections.
Medical and Mental Health Needs
The inventory respondents, focus group participants, and the literature were in
agreement that, with regard to the special needs of female inmates, the need is
not necessarily for more security staff but for more medical, mental health, and
program staff in the housing units and greater inmate access to the medical and
mental health clinics. They admitted that more medical, mental health, and pro­
gram staff are now assigned to correctional facilities for women but indicated that
still more staff are needed.
Exhibit 14 (pages 112–113) reports the inventory responses concerning special
medical and mental health needs of women and the impact of these needs on
staffing levels in four areas: security, medical health, mental health, and programs.
This exhibit also identifies the staffing implications offered by the focus group and
found in the literature.
Security staffing. Note that the only special need of female inmates that was seen
to affect security staffing levels significantly was “women require more trips to
special medical clinics and hospitals than do men” (47 percent agreed). Staffing
considerations related to this need stressed the importance of training security

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staff concerning female inmates’ medical and mental health issues and adding
transportation/escort officers for trips to special clinics and hospitals. None of the
sources that were explored revealed any other significant differences in security
staffing levels in male facilities as compared with female facilities, based on per­
ceived requirements in the medical and mental health area.
Medical and mental health staffing. Mental health staffing levels for female
inmates were significantly affected by needs associated with trauma and abuse
(83.3 percent) and by an overall need for greater time and attention (72.2 percent).
Medical staffing levels for female inmates were affected by their needs for greater
staff time and attention (66.7 percent) and more trips to special medical clinics
(58.3 percent) and by their higher rates of somatic illness (55.6 percent) and vene­
real and pelvic disorders (61.1 percent).

Many of the special
medical and mental health
needs of women affect
more than one type of
staffing. Notably, needs
associated with trauma,
abuse, and the overall
need for greater staff
time and attention were
identified as significantly
affecting medical, mental
health, and program staff­
ing levels.

Focus Group Comments on Medical and Mental
Health Issues
The discussions that took place during the focus group meeting gave
context and life to the inventory statistics. Some of these compelling com­
ments are presented here and in similar sidebars throughout the chapter.
(Emphasis added)
“Utilization of telemedicine can reduce the large amount of transporta­
tion for women [for trips to special medical clinics and hospitals]. This
saves on transportation officers. It may reduce unnecessary hospitaliza­
tion. This is important for saving on staff.”
“The male facilities have a transport pool. We have to do all of the trans­
portation ourselves. There must be a female officer, because a prisoner
may be going someplace where they have to change clothes.”
“A lot of psychosomatic illnesses [among] women inmates who want
attention.”
“A high percentage of the population is on psychotropic medications.
Depression seems to be the greatest reason for the psychotropic
medications.”
“Starting to observe a lot of gynecological cancer issues. Gynecological
disorders take more medical staff time. There are a lot of STDs seen at
the reception center.”
“Women with substance abuse issues cause higher medical expenses
because of what the abuse has done to their bodies.”
“Women in general have not had any kind of dental care.”

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Exhibit 14. Views on the Medical and Mental Health Needs of Female Inmates and the
Effect of These Needs on Staffing Levels in Women’s Institutions
Percentage of respondents who
agree special need affects need for
more staff in the area specified

Percentage of
respondents
who agree
special need
exists

Security

Medical

Mental
health

Program

Staffing implication

Physically, sexually, and/
or emotionally abused
women frequently
suffer from trauma,
depression, anxiety, and
other mental health
disorders that require
special treatment.

100.0

19.4

47.2

83.3

58.3

Mental health staffing: Mental health
administrators should address this need
in their staffing plans.

Women require special
programs that address
issues such as parenting,
battering and abuse,
and legal recourse.

88.9

8.3

8.3

27.8

66.7

Program staffing: Program administra­
tors should address this need in their
staffing plans.

Most female offenders
require more time and
attention from security,
counseling, medical, and
mental health staff than
do men.

97.2

22.2

66.7

72.2

50.0

Mental health staffing: Mental health
administrators should address this need
in their staffing plans.

Special need of
female inmates

Training: Mental health professionals
should train security staff regarding the
prevalence and symptoms of mental
health illnesses associated with abuse
and trauma and provide strategies for
identifying and properly responding to
those illnesses.

Training: Train security staff in how to
respond appropriately to requests for
time and attention, what behaviors
should be reported to mental health
and medical staff, and when that
information should be reported.
Screening: Identify security staff who
fail to demonstrate patience and reas­
sign them to posts that require less in­
tensive, ongoing interactions (e.g., from
housing units to the control center).
Continued on next page.

Program staffing. The needs of female inmates were perceived to have a substan­
tial impact on program staffing levels. The specific needs identified were those
associated with trauma and abuse (58.3 percent) and female inmates’ overall need
for greater staff time and attention (50.0 percent).
Needs of Pregnant Inmates
Specialized medical care and housing accommodations must be offered to pregnant
inmates. Particular staffing issues and implications are listed in exhibit 15 (page 114).
With regard to pregnant women, again, the only special need seen to significantly

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Exhibit 14. Views on the Medical and Mental Health Needs of Female Inmates and the
Effect of These Needs on Staffing Levels in Women’s Institutions (continued)
Percentage of respondents who
agree special need affects need for
more staff in the area specified

Percentage of
respondents
who agree
special need
exists

Security

Medical

Mental
health

Program

Women have higher
rates of somatic illnesses
than men.

86.1

13.9

55.6

36.1

16.7

Training: Medical staff should train
security staff about somatic illnesses.

Women have more
venereal and pelvic
disorders than men.

77.8

2.8

61.1

8.3

8.3

Training: Medical staff should train
security staff concerning symptoms
of female disorders, and security staff
should be required to report any signs
and symptoms to medical staff.

Women require more
use of medications than
men.

83.3

5.6

66.7

33.3

8.3

Schedules/post orders: If medications
are administered in the housing unit by
medical staff, observation duty should
be factored into the security post
workload and schedule.

Women require more
trips to special medical
clinics and hospitals
than do men.

91.7

47.2

58.3

11.1

2.8

Security staffing: Additional security/
transportation staff may be required
for escorting female inmates to the
infirmary and/or for transporting them
to clinics and hospitals off institutional
grounds. These duties should be fac­
tored into post plans and/or shift relief
factors.

Women’s medical issues
require medical coverage 24 hours per day.

69.4

22.2

44.4

19.4

5.6

Medical staffing: Include 24-hour
coverage in staffing plans.

Special need of
female inmates

Staffing implication

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions. Staffing implications are based
on review of the current literature and responses from an NIC-conducted focus group.

affect security staffing levels was transportation to special medical clinics and hos­
pitals (42 percent). The focus group noted the potential need for additional security
staff where there is special housing for pregnant inmates who are close to term and
new mothers caring for newborns. None of the sources explored revealed any other
significant differences in the security staffing levels of general-population male fa­
cilities and female facilities. With regard to medical staffing in women’s facilities, the
focus group identified pregnant women’s needs for prenatal care (66.7 percent) and
24-hour nursing services before delivery (55.6 percent) as those that had the most
impact on staffing levels.

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CHAPTER 15

Exhibit 15. Views on the Needs of Pregnant Inmates and the Effect of These Needs on Staffing Levels
Percentage of respondents who
agree special need affects need for
more staff in the area specified

Percentage of
respondents
who agree
special need
exists

Security

Medical

Mental
health

Program

Pregnant women
require prenatal care.

100

19.4

66.7

22.2

22.2

Medical staffing: Staffing plans must
accommodate this need.

Pregnant women
require different
transport procedures
from men.

86.1

41.7

25.0

5.6

2.8

Training: Train security staff in how to
restrain/supervise pregnant inmates
without affecting the biological process
or violating their privacy.

Pregnant women need
special quarters and
accommodations during
the last trimester of
pregnancy.

38.9

22.2

30.6

11.1

8.3

Training: Train security staff assigned
to units for pregnant inmates to iden­
tify maladies and signs of delivery or
pregnancy-related problems and how
and when to report these events to
medical staff.

Special need of
female inmates

Staffing implication

Security staffing: If special housing is
used, additional security staff will have
to be available to escort the women to
and from the infirmary and/or hospital.
Some pregnant women
require 24-hour nursing
services before delivery.

83.3

25.0

55.6

13.9

2.8

Medical staffing: Staffing plans must
include 24-hour coverage.

New mothers need
opportunities to
bond with and care
for their babies.

55.6

22.2

16.7

5.6

13.9

Security staffing: If special housing is
used, additional security staff will have
to be available to escort the women to
and from the infirmary and/or hospital.

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions. Staffing implications are based
on review of the current literature and responses from an NIC-conducted focus group.

Focus Group Comments on Needs Related to
Pregnant Inmates
“[It is] rare that pregnant inmates are not classified as ‘high risk’ as a
result of drug use, alcohol use, etc. [There are] a lot of low-weight babies
and some addicted babies. A lot of women require cesarean section for
the birth. Pregnant women are housed together.”
“[We use the] same staffing pattern in units for pregnant women [as
for women who are not pregnant]. The only difference in our facility
would be the staffing issues for when they go to the hospital. Transport
staff to take them offsite. [We] have to staff with an armed and unarmed
staff 24 hours-a-day when in hospital. Doctors come in the facility to do
mammograms.”

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Exhibit 16. Views on the Family-Related Needs of Female Inmates and
the Effect of These Needs on Staffing Levels

Special need of
female inmates
Women need to visit
with their children
more often and/or
for longer periods.

Percentage of respondents who
agree special need affects need for
more staff in the area specified

Percentage of
respondents
who agree
special need
exists

Security

Medical

Mental
health

Program

Staffing implication

80.6

36.1

5.6

19.4

36.1

Security staffing: If the visitation sched­
ule is expanded, more security staff will
be needed during visitation periods.
Depending on the type and configura­
tion of visitation facilities, additional
security staff may be required to man­
age the number of visitors (e.g., to
conduct searches, identification checks,
bag checks).
Monitoring: If there is a residential
visitation program, the unit will need
additional security staff to prevent the
introduction of contraband that could
compromise the program’s safety and
security.

Some women want
their children to
visit and/or live in
their housing units.

69.4

25.0

16.7

13.9

22.2

Security staffing: Experience varies on
this issue. Some say there is less need for
staff when mothers have their children
with them, and others say they add staff
when children are present.

Female offenders
require special programs in topics such as
parenting, battering
and abuse, and legal
recourse.

88.9

8.3

8.3

27.8

66.7

Program staffing: Program administra­
tors will meet this need in their staffing
plans.

Women have needs
that require more
social services than
men (e.g., family
contacts, childcare).

97.2

13.9

11.1

22.2

58.3

Social services staff: Social service administrators will meet this need in their
staffing plans.

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions. Staffing implications are based
on review of the current literature and responses from an NIC-conducted focus group.

Family-Related Needs of Female Inmates
Of note in how the family-related needs of female inmates affect staffing is the
demand for security staff to supervise expanded services and schedules in the vis­
iting room and the housing units where children visit. Of more significance is the
need for program staff to assist with issues such as childcare and family contacts
(58.3 percent) and to provide programming on topics such as parenting, battering
and abuse, and legal issues. Particular staffing issues and implications are listed in
exhibit 16.

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Focus Group Comments on Family-Related Needs
“Programs with child visitation mean more staff.”
“We have a separate visiting room for visiting with children. . . .
We have an officer who comes in and checks.”

Summary of Security Staffing Issues in Women’s
Correctional Facilities
The demand for more security staff to transport women to and from special clinics
or hospitals for treatment was a recurrent theme in the findings of the national
inventory on staffing for women’s correctional institutions. However, medical,
mental heath, and program staffing levels were by far seen to be more affected by
the special needs of female inmates than were security staffing levels.
Nevertheless, inventory respondents identified a range of differences between the
roles/responsibilities of security staff in women’s facilities versus men’s facilities,
some of which might increase the security staff workload in women’s facilities
(exhibit 17). Topping the list were monitoring female inmates’ health/pregnancy
and their mental stability (61 percent); listening to their complaints/problems
(58 percent); and counseling those who are upset or out of control (53 percent).
Traditional “security-related” tasks, such as escorting, searching, and supervising
the women, were cited by 44 percent of the inventory respondents as affecting
staffing levels in women’s institutions. Staffing analysts should be mindful of
these workload issues when posting women’s facilities.
Findings of the
Staffing Inventory: In
responding to questions
about whether staffing
levels are higher when the
percentage of female staff
outweighs the percentage
of male staff and vice ver­
sa, only 6 percent of inven­
tory respondents believed
that staffing levels are
higher when most of the
security staff are female;
11.8 percent believed that
staffing levels are higher
when most of the security
staff are male.

Cross-Gender Supervision of Female Inmates
Of significant concern when staffing a women’s correctional facility is how to deploy
male supervisory staff. Although 59.4 percent of the agencies responding to the inven­
tory have special provisions in their policies for cross-gender staffing and/or posts, less
than 20 percent of these require a specific ratio of male officers to women.
If properly addressed, issues involving cross-gender supervision4 can potentially
have an equal or greater impact on staffing decisions for a women’s correctional
facility than the unique needs of the facility’s inmates. The two, however, are in­
terrelated in multiple ways that have serious implications for security staffing. It is
interesting, and of concern, that only 59 percent of the responding agencies have
special provision regarding cross-gender staffing in their policies.

4

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Cross-gender supervision is defined here as the supervision of inmates by staff of the opposite gender.

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Exhibit 17. Views on Differences Between Security Staff Duties in Women’s Facilities
and Those in Men’s Facilities

The following security staff duties in women’s facilities differ from those in men’s facilities.
Do they add workload?

Percentage of
respondents
answering
“yes”

Report and/or document any unusual/significant change in an inmate’s emotional condition.

41.7

Counsel out-of-control inmates for longer periods of time than would be allowed for male inmates.

52.8

Observe pregnant inmates according to medical staff instructions and document their condition as required.

41.7

Spend extra time listening to inmates’ problems and complaints.

58.3

Open special grooming facilities and supervise them during more hours of the day than in male institutions.

36.1

Spend more time supervising cleaning and monitoring property than in male institutions.

22.2

Spend more time dressing out* and transporting inmates to appointments.

44.4

Supervise housing units in which children are present.

41.7

Closely monitor mentally ill, chronically ill, and pregnant inmates and document changes in condition as directed.

61.1

*

Providing inmates’ civilian clothing for trips out of the facility.

Source: National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions.

Staffing analysts must pay close attention to whether a post should be occupied by
female staff only. Administrators of women’s facilities should carefully screen all
applicants to ensure they are sympathetic or open to the special needs presented by
female offenders. All male staff assigned to a women’s correctional facility require
specific training to ensure knowledge of and sensitivity to the special needs of the
female offender, their roles as security staff, and other specific cross-gender supervi­
sion issues.
Exhibit 18 (page 118) lists the key cross-gender issues in women’s correctional
institutions identified by the inventory respondents and outlines the related con­
siderations for security staff.

Summary
Although the number of security staff required to manage a women’s correctional
facility safely may not differ significantly from that required to manage male cor­
rectional facilities, the nuances of staffing for female facilities are considerable.
These nuances should influence the staffing analyst when prioritizing, recom­
mending schedules, and identifying any special training, screening, monitoring,
rotations, and/or gender requirements for a post.

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Exhibit 18. Views on the Implications of Cross-Gender Supervision for Female Inmates
Percentage of
respondents
who agree

Issue

Considerations for security staffing

Women behave differently and are
sometimes sexually forward toward
male staff.

83.3

Screening: Assess the motivations of male staff members seeking supervi­
sory posts in a women’s correctional facility.

Most female inmates prefer not to
be touched by male staff, particularly
not in vulnerable areas. Likewise,
they generally do not like to be seen
by male staff while in the nude or in
other vulnerable situations.

88.9

Designating gender-specific posts: Each facility should identify certain
posts as gender specific or as posts that male officers cannot occupy alone.
These include posts responsible for strip searches and pat-down searches,
and housing units’ visitation areas. Male staff should never be assigned to
supervise bathing or toilet facilities and when transporting female inmates,
should always be accompanied by a female officer.

There are topics that many women
prefer not to discuss with men.

88.9

Training: Train male staff as to the appropriate subject matters to discuss
with female inmates. This is particularly important regarding, but not
limited to, sex-related topics. Male staff should be trained to refer female
inmates to female staff when sensitive issues are broached, even if the
inmate introduces the topic.

Training: Train male staff as to what constitutes appropriate and inappro­
priate behavior with female inmates.

Monitoring: Closely monitor the behaviors of male staff supervising
female inmates.
Stringent discipline: Sanction appropriately any staff member found guilty
of having inappropriate banter or conversations with female offenders.
Many female offenders have learned
to use sex appeal or sexual favors to
manipulate their environment.

80.6

Training: Train officers to identify and respond to the modes of interaction
some female offenders may employ.

Women need and require nonag­
gressive supervision overall and less
aggressive supervision than men.

80.6

Training: Provide training on tactics for obtaining and maintaining compli­
ance and appropriate use of force (when, how much, and how) for female
inmates. This training should include different use-of-force protocols for
female inmates, especially pregnant inmates.

Women are afraid of physical and/or
emotional abuse by men.

80.6

Training: Provide training in effective, yet nonintimidating supervision,
communication strategies, and behaviors.

In some circumstances compliance
with equal opportunity regulations
requires a certain percentage of male
staff to occupy positions in female
facilities.*

N/A

Trading places: Assign a higher percentage of male officers to perimeter,
dining hall, education, and program posts while ensuring adequate coverage by female officers in visiting, housing, and medical areas.

There are incidents when male
officers engage in sexual acts with
female inmates.*

N/A

Monitoring: Ongoing attention must be paid to particular types of inmate
complaints (both formal grievances and informal reports), inmate-on­
inmate altercations and fights, disciplinary infractions, rates of sick call,
signs of abuse, and sexual behavior.
Terminations: Immediately terminate any officer found guilty of engaging
in sexual acts with a female inmate.

*Issue identified by focus group. The percentage of focus group participants who agreed is not available.
Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions. Considerations for security staff­
ing based on review of the current literature and responses from an NIC-conducted focus group.

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Focus Group Comments on Cross-Gender Supervision
“Most of us use the MMPI [Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory]
for offenders [to detect personality disorders], but not for staff. They
stay on good behavior during their probationary period. We often find
out that their personalities are wrong for the job after they achieve per­
manent status. Then we have to document infractions to get rid of them
and that’s the wrong way to go about it.”
“The unions do not want personality testing. We should do polygraph
testing and psychological testing.”
“The idea of the values testing is worth taking a look at. It sounds simi­
lar to the BOP [Federal Bureau of Prisons] integrity test.”
“We conduct personality testing for potential officers in our women’s
facility—values testing. It helps us screen out inappropriate candidates.”
“There is a 2-hour block that everybody gets on gender responsiveness.
There is a 40-hour training for custody staff working at a female prison.
The curriculum includes history of the female offender[s]; characteristics;
communication techniques; medical, psychological, and social needs;
and searching the female offender.”
“We’re very upfront with the sexual relationship issue—no tolerance.”
“We have an internal affairs staff person. Any issues of a sexual nature
are turned to him initially. If it looks like a big issue, he calls the legal
department and does a special investigation.”
“The staff member is immediately suspended until an investigation of
the sexual misbehavior has concluded. Probationary employees can be
terminated that day.”
“We have female officers who get involved with the female inmates.
Some of it is because of their sexual identity. Some of it may be because
the female officers need to feel needed.”
“There are telltale signs of sexual misconduct—officers wanting to work
in a place they have never worked, wearing cologne all of a sudden,
changing their appearance, not wanting to move an inmate to another
location, passing notes, an officer coming into a unit that isn’t supposed
to be there, phone calls. . . .”

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CHAPTER 16

Staffing Considerations for Medical and
Mental Health Units
This chapter examines security staffing in medical and mental health correctional
facilities and units nationwide from the point of view of medical and mental
health administrators. It identifies the issues that may have an impact on how se­
curity officials staff these units with security officers, and it describes how medi­
cal and mental health administrators collaborate with security officials to address
these issues.
To understand the security issues and explore the best ways to deal with them, the
researchers:
■	

Reviewed the literature regarding supervision of inmates with medical and
mental health conditions within a correctional facility.

■	

Conducted a national inventory of state and federal correctional agencies’
current experiences and practices regarding security staffing for medical and
mental health units and facilities.

■	

Convened a focus group of state correctional administrators whose systems
represented exemplary and/or innovative staffing practices in their medical
and/or mental health units. A national correctional healthcare consultant also
participated. The focus group discussed staffing requirements for chronically
ill and/or mentally ill inmates and best practices in staffing mental health and
medical units.

The information garnered from the literature review, inventory, and focus group
discussions clarified the issues and pointed to considerations and security staffing
practices that can help medical and mental health units and facilities operate more
safely and efficiently.

Rise in Medical and Mental Health Services
in Corrections
Correctional administrators and medical and mental health practitioners agreed
that the number of inmates with medical and/or mental health conditions who
require residential treatment in special correctional units grew in the past decade.
From 1992 to 2001, for example, the number of state and federal inmates age 50
or older increased from 41,586 in 1992 to 113,358 in 2001, a staggering 172.6
percent.1 This demographic increase was generated at least in part by “three
1

Camille G. Camp, ed., The Corrections Yearbook: Adult Corrections 2002 (Middletown, CT: Criminal Justice
Institute, Inc., 2002).

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strikes” felony sentencing, mandatory sentencing for drug offenses, elimination of
parole at the federal level and in 14 states, and state “truth-in-sentencing” legisla­
tion prompted by the federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of
1994 (Public Law 103–322).
In several states, the number of inmates with serious medical and/or mental health
needs prompted correctional agencies to devote entire facilities to their care. In
2002, 40 state correctional agencies operated separate units for inmates with med­
ical needs, and 15 had separate facilities for inmates requiring specialized medi­
cal care. Fifteen departments of corrections housed elderly inmates at a single
facility,2 and 23 correctional agencies maintained special units for inmates with
terminal illnesses.3 All but two state correctional agencies maintained dedicated
mental health units. In the 2004 national inventory, 81 percent of the participating
agencies responded that they provide separate units for mentally ill inmates; 31
percent house mentally ill inmates in separate facilities. Several state correctional
agencies operate both specialized facilities and units for mentally ill inmates.
The increasing demand for these services has affected security staffing. Providing
security and supervision in medical and mental health units is much different than
in general-population units. It is necessary to view these units with a different eye
because of the unique issues posed by their populations, activities, and situations.

Current Security Staffing Practices in Medical and
Mental Health Facilities
In late 2003, the researchers asked medical and mental health administrators in
state and federal correctional agencies to complete a questionnaire regarding key
security staffing issues and practices in units (if they exist) that house chronically
ill and disabled inmates. Thirty-four (66 percent) of the jurisdictions responded.
The administrators’ experiences in and opinions about security staffing for these
units/facilities were similar in many respects.
Medical and mental health services vary substantially from agency to agency
and, in many systems, from facility to facility. To oversee these vital services for
growing populations of mentally ill and chronically ill inmates, most correctional
agencies have an administrator responsible for managing service delivery and/or
monitoring any contracts with private vendor(s) throughout the agency. (Of the
reporting agencies, 85 percent have mental health administrators and 91.2 percent
have medical administrators.) About half of the agencies provide their own medi­
cal and mental health services in all facilities or in specific facilities rather than
contract with a private provider for these services. The majority of the states (60
2

B.G. Harding, Staffing Analysis for Women’s Prisons and Special Prison Populations, Special Issues in Correc­
tions (Longmont, CO: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections Information Center, 2002).

3
B. Jaye Anno, Camelia Graham, James E. Lawrence, and Ronald Shansky. Correctional Health Care: Address­
ing the Needs of Elderly, Chronically Ill, and Terminally Ill Inmates (Washington, DC: U.S. Department
of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 2003).

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percent) follow professional standards (e.g., the American Correctional Associa­
tion, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, and the Joint Council
on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) and/or state standards. A significant
number of the responding administrators (73.3 percent of medical administrators
and 40.6 percent of mental health administrators) reported having written policies
and procedures that govern staffing practices in their specialized units.
The following sections report inventory results on four key issues in security
staffing of medical and mental health units and facilities: 1) the roles of security
staff, 2) indicators of insufficient security staffing levels, 3) factors that influence
decisions to establish or eliminate security posts, and 4) collaboration between
security staffing decisionmakers and medical and mental health administrators.
Role of Security Staff
The medical and mental health professionals who responded to the survey ex­
pected their security staff to fulfill various roles and responsibilities, notably the
following:
■	

Report unusual changes in the inmate’s condition (100 percent).

■	

Ensure security during the delivery of medical services inside and outside the
housing units (97 percent).

■	

Escort inmates to medical/mental health services (94 percent of medical admin­
istrators and 92 percent of mental health administrators).

Exhibit 19 reports additional expectations for security staff in medical and mental
health units. Note that the roles that most respondents agreed were expected of
security staff in their units are security related—reporting behavior, securing ac­
tivities, and escorting inmates.
Exhibit 19. Expectations of Security Staff in Medical and Mental Health Units
Percentage of
respondents
who agree
Medical

Mental health

100.0

100.0

68.6

86.1

Participate in treatment-related team meetings.

48.6

86.1

Schedule and produce inmates for all medical and mental health appointments and
related activities.

48.6

55.6

Escort inmates to medical and mental health services.

94.3

91.7

Security staff responsibility/duty
Report any unusual change in an inmate’s physical or mental condition.
Report to medical staff all incidents relating to an inmate’s medical or mental health issues.

Manage inmates according to protocols as directed by medical and mental health staff.

57.1

75.0

Ensure security during delivery of medical and mental health services inside housing units.

97.1

97.2

Ensure security during delivery of medical and mental health services outside housing units.

97.1

88.9

Observe inmates who need special observation according to medical or mental health staff
instructions and record observations as required.

82.9

94.4

Sources: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventories on Appropriate Security Staffing for Medical Service Delivery and
Appropriate Security Staffing for Mental Health Service Delivery.

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The issue for the staffing analyst is whether calling, logging events, writing
reports about inmate behavior, supervising inmates who are being administered
medications and treatments, escorting inmates to and from clinics, and conducting
security checks add enough to a post’s workload to warrant additional security
posts. In addition, the staffing analyst must consider whether these duties require
specialized training beyond that provided at the academy.
The majority of the mental health professionals and almost half of the medical
professionals responding to the inventory expect security staff to participate in
treatment meetings; about half of both medical and mental health professionals
expect them to schedule and produce inmates for appointments. These duties are
time consuming and may add to a post’s workload if included in the post orders.
They have important implications for the number of posts as well as the training
requirements for these units.
■	

Several of the tasks identified by the medical and mental health administrators
who completed the inventory may prompt deliberations about role conflict and
workload: 83 percent of the medical administrators and 94 percent of the men­
tal health administrators expect unit security officers to watch inmates who are
having suicidal crises or demonstrating bizarre behaviors.

■	

Sixty-nine percent of the medical administrators and 86 percent of the mental
health administrators expect officers to report on incidents relating to inmates’
particular illnesses.

■	

Fifty-seven percent of the medical administrators and 75 percent of the mental
health administrators expect officers to perform professional protocols as di­
rected by the administrators.

All of these duties may require additional training and perhaps even certification,
and they all add to a post’s workload significantly.
Focus group participants voiced similar roles and expectations for the security
staff in their units. They emphasized the officer’s role as an observer, calling of­
ficers their “eyes and ears.” They enumerated specific tasks that security officers
do such as lifting inmates, restraining inmates, serving as an observer for suicide
prevention, helping with a number of treatments, leading inmates with dementia
in the correct direction, and many other tasks that are not security related.
When asked if there were opportunities to save on medical or mental health staff­
ing by having security officers help with inmates, or, conversely, to reduce secu­
rity staff because of the presence of healthcare staff on the units, all focus group
participants agreed that sharing security and healthcare duties is not a good idea.
Establishing a line of demarcation by taking into account workload and training is
the task of the staffing analyst.
The roles and responsibilities of security staff vary with the unit’s physical charac­
teristics, the specific conditions represented in the population(s) served, and, most

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importantly, the philosophies of the medical and mental health administrators and
security officials regarding role propriety and distinction. Careful review of role
division as part of a joint or multidisciplinary staffing analysis would be useful for
resolving scheduling conflicts, managing workload, improving services, reducing
stress among security and medical/mental health workers, and, of course, ensuring
institutional safety and security.
Indicators of Insufficient Security Staffing Levels
Adequate safety and security are enormously important to medical and mental
health personnel who work in a special unit or facility. Analysts must determine
whether the number of properly trained security post occupants is sufficient to
supervise inmate activity and respond to the events that occur in a special unit.
Exhibit 20 reports the inventory respondents’ views on indicators of insufficient
security staffing levels. There was little agreement between medical and mental
health professionals as to what constituted reliable and accurate indicators of in­
sufficient staffing. For example, 48 percent of the medical administrators but only
33 percent of the mental health administrators agreed that confusion and conges­
tion in the service delivery area signaled insufficient security staffing. There was
more agreement regarding finding medicines during housing unit shakedowns,
with 44 percent of the medical administrators and 43 percent of the mental health
administrators agreeing that this was a reliable indicator. Forty percent of the
mental health administrators indicated that they become concerned about security
staffing levels when there are numerous staff complaints and grievances regarding
lack of safety; among the medical professionals, however, slow response times
to incidents in treatment or housing units were better indicators of insufficient
security staff.
Exhibit 20. Views on Indicators of Insufficient Security Staffing
Percentage of
respondents
who agree
Medical

Mental health

Service delivery area/clinic is confusing and congested.

48

33

Housing units are in a poor state of cleanliness.

12

23

Inmates are consistently late for medical/mental health appointments at the clinic.

24

33

Security is slow to respond to incident(s) involving inmates in the treatment area.

36

37

Indicator

Security is slow to respond to incident(s) involving inmates in housing units.

32

37

Medicines are found during shakedowns of housing units.

44

43

Staff complaints and grievances regarding the lack of safety are numerous.

28

40

Sources: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventories on Appropriate Security Staffing for Medical Service Delivery and
Appropriate Security Staffing for Mental Health Service Delivery.

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In addition to highlighting the lack of consensus on indicators of insufficient secu­
rity staffing, these percentages reveal that less than half of the respondents valued
the indicators. These results point to the need for collaboration between medical
and mental health administrators and security staff in a multidisciplinary staffing
analysis. It is the staffing analyst’s responsibility to look at these and other signs
of stress to determine whether the post is overworked or needs a partner post or
if the unit’s schedule needs tweaking to even out workflow. If safety is an issue,
the analyst should review the rate of incidents in the unit(s). If the rates are high
or have changed significantly, the analyst should recommend at least a temporary
increase in staff to ameliorate the situation. Such an increase should be accompa­
nied by a specification of tasks and a clear division of labor. If adding staff and/or
clarifying post orders do not address the problem(s), the analyst should investigate
other potential factors.
Staffing analysts should
not overlook behavioral
problems or idiosyncrasies
of inmates under the
supervision of post oc­
cupants when examining
workload problems in the
unit. A good analyst will
look for these issues and
ask medical and mental
health staff about the unit’s
security and how it can be
improved.

Tip: The staffing analyst
must be aware of the risks
in the unit, particularly in
mental health units, where
bizarre and violent behav­
iors occur frequently. The
level of risk may determine
the appropriate number of
security staff.

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Factors That Influence Decisions To Establish or Eliminate
Security Posts
Inventory respondents were asked to rate the importance of a series of security
posting factors in deciding whether to add or eliminate a post. Respondents used
a scale of 0 to 5, where 0 was defined as “not considered” and 5 as “utmost influ­
ence.” Exhibit 21 shows that medical and mental health professionals generally
agreed as to the relative importance of the various factors.
The significance assigned to the factors listed in exhibit 21 is critical because one
of the major duties of the security post in a special unit is to ensure the safety of
all staff (including medical and mental health staff) and inmates in a unit where
great vulnerability exists (especially in the case of mental health units). Concern­
ing inmate characteristics, note the concern for danger (risk) indicated by the
high ratings healthcare administrators assigned to inmate custody levels (medical
administrators, 4.2; mental health administrators, 4.4). Medical and mental health
units are multicustody units. A chronically ill person who has committed aggra­
vated assault and battery may be alongside a person confined for a property crime.
The medical and mental health staffperson knows that the unit is being operated
for the need and not the risk, so, unless briefed by security as to each inmate’s
custody level, he or she must always assume vulnerability and maximum risk.
The presence of inmates in the unit who require escort by security staff was rated
relatively high (medical administrators, 3.0; mental health administrators, 3.4),
indicating concern that the security staff will be adequate to physically manage
inmates. This is a workload issue staffing analysts must consider. Of final note is
medical and mental health administrators’ concern for medication administration:
The ratings for administration of medications at a common point in or near the
housing unit were 3.8 and 3.5, respectively, for medical and mental health admin­
istrators. Analysts may need to consider whether an officer should perform this
duty, and, if so, what the cost implications are.

S T A F F I N G C O N S I D E R A T I O N S F O R M E D I C A L A N D M E N T A L H E A LT H U N I T S

Exhibit 21. Views on the Importance of Security Posting Factors in Special Population Units
Average rating*
Medical

Mental health

Gender.


2.6

2.5

Inmates who require medications at regular intervals. 


2.9

3.0

Inmates who require escort in the unit (e.g., to bathroom).


3.0

3.4

Custody level.


4.2

4.4

Body or other alarms for all staff involved.


3.0

3.1

Intercom for communication between staff and inmates.


3.0

2.6

Security posting factor
Characteristics of the patient population

Unit’s physical characteristics and technologies

Equipment/space for administering medications. 


3.2

3.5

One-on-one examining rooms.


3.2

3.7

Video surveillance for some or all cells in the unit.


3.7

3.6

Special observation cells.


3.9

4.2

Medical treatment provided in medical spaces in housing unit(s).


3.1

3.6

Medications administered in the clinic.


3.3

3.3

Separate, dedicated medical treatment housing unit where services are delivered.


3.4

3.7

Triage/sick call conducted in the housing unit or outside the unit.


3.5

3.6

Inmates go unescorted to medical clinics and treatment programs.


3.5

3.2

Departmental medical services are available in other institutions to which inmates can 

be transferred if they require additional services.


3.7

3.3

Specially configured and equipped medical residential units for delivery of many 

medical services.


3.7

3.7

Points of service and access to service

Medications administered at a common location in or near housing units.


3.8

3.5

Inmates are escorted/transported by security staff to the facility’s onsite clinic(s) for 

appointments and treatment.


4.1

4.0

Medical offices/clinics located in the institution are open during the day.


4.3

4.0

Medical clinic/infirmary open 24 hours per day.


4.4

4.0

Security staff who work in medical areas are specially trained to work with chronically 

ill or mentally ill inmates.


3.9

3.8

Medical workers are trained in security to enhance their ability to function safely in a 

prison environment.


3.8

3.8

Number of professional staff dedicated to the unit.


3.5

3.8

Time and schedule of when inmates are out of their cells/rooms but in the unit.


3.4

3.5

Time and schedule of when inmates are outside the housing unit.


3.7

3.8

Special duties such as security supervision of pill lines, examinations, and therapy.


3.7

3.8

Staff safety

*Respondents were asked to rate on a scale of 0 to 5 the factor’s influence on their decision to place a post: 0—not considered; 1—very little influence;
2—small amount of influence; 3—moderate amount of influence; 4—significant influence; and 5—utmost influence.
Sources: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventories on Appropriate Security Staffing for Medical Service Delivery and
Appropriate Security Staffing for Mental Health Service Delivery.

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With regard to the unit’s physical characteristics, the respondents were concerned
about space and equipment, especially the presence of special observation cells
(medical health administrators, 3.9; mental health administrators, 4.2), probably
because the policy in most units is that security staff are given observation duty.
The analyst may be concerned as well, but the duty can be negotiated with the
healthcare administrator. Either way, someone bears the cost of the staff required
for special observation duty. Video surveillance, which can reduce touring of the
unit to observe problem inmates, was rated as moderately important (medical
administrators, 3.7; mental health administrators, 3.6). Concern for examining
rooms was greater among mental health administrators than medical administra­
tors (3.7 and 3.2, respectively), as was concern for equipment/space for admin­
istering medications (3.5 and 3.2, respectively). These ratings suggest that the
staffing analyst should look at these factors as well when evaluating workload on
the post.
The inventory results show clearly that medical and mental health administrators
think that the number of security officers needed depends heavily on points of ser­
vice and access to service. The staffing analyst should look closely at these issues
and at the availability of officers for healthcare-related transportation and escort,
which medical administrators rated 4.1 and mental health administrators 4.0.
Administrators placed high importance on having enough security staff presence
during the hours that medical offices, clinics, and infirmaries are open (medical
administrators, 4.3; mental health administrators, 4.0). It appears that healthcare
professionals are also concerned about the availability of security staff when
medical treatment is provided in medical spaces on the housing units (medical
administrators, 3.1; mental health administrators, 3.6); and when triage/sick call is
conducted in the housing unit (medical administrators, 3.5; mental health admin­
istrators, 3.6). Staffing analysts should be equally concerned about the number of
staff available for these activities.
The inventory respondents’ ratings of the importance of posting factors related
to staff safety were generally not as high as expected, particularly with regard to
the value of special training for security staff working on medical/mental health
units and of cross-training for healthcare and security staff working on these units.
However, consistently high ratings were assigned to security staff’s availability to
monitor inmates during treatment, administration of medications, examinations,
and therapy (medical administrators, 4.2; mental health administrators, 3.9) and
when they are out of their cells (medical administrators, 3.4; mental health ad­
ministrators, 3.5). These ratings indicate clearly that when healthcare staff are in
the housing unit or in a face-to-face interaction with an inmate, they want security
staff to be readily available. This is valuable information when evaluating the
security officer’s workload.

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S T A F F I N G C O N S I D E R A T I O N S F O R M E D I C A L A N D M E N T A L H E A LT H U N I T S

Focus Group Comments
Although the focus group participants did not assign numerical weights
to security posting factors, they expressed views similar to those of the
medical and mental health administrators who responded to the inven­
tory. Here are a few of their comments (emphasis added).
“Decisions by security staff . . . as to where services are delivered make
a huge impact. It is much more staff intensive to bring medicine to the
units.”
“Custody level, configuration, and type of institution make a big
difference.”
“Acuity level of population is also an important factor.”
“Where the specialty service is provided has a profound impact.”
“If custody level of population will not allow ‘keep on person’ medica­
tion, it increases staffing needs.”
“One of the most important factors affecting medical/mental [health]
staffing is the mission of your facility.”
“Not a lot of collaboration between security and medical/mental health
staff . . . but there should be. A lot of times staffing is based on what
was done historically.”

Collaboration Between Staffing Decisionmakers and Medical
and Mental Health Administrators
The importance of collaboration between security staffing and medical and mental
health administrators was emphasized numerous times in the focus group meeting
and is reflected in the inventory responses. For example, very few of the respond­
ing agencies include medical or mental health administrators in the process of
screening security staff as to their suitability for working in these specialized
units. Only 15 percent of medical administrators and 12 percent of mental health
administrators indicated that they participate in screening security staff. In most
agencies, however, security staff are specially trained by medical professionals
(79 percent) or mental health professionals (91 percent) before working in a spe­
cial unit.
All medical administrators (100 percent) and 93 percent of mental health admin­
istrators reported that they keep security staffing administrators apprised of their
need for additional staff. In contrast, only about half of the respondents reported
that security staff routinely solicit their input regarding security staffing needs
(medical administrators, 46 percent; mental health administrators, 55 percent).

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Tip: Without interactive
deliberations with medical
and mental health staff,
the staffing analyst will not
understand many of their
concerns, experiences,
and opinions regarding
security staffing needs in
these special units.

Although the focus group participants emphasized the importance of specialized
training and exemption from rotation for specially trained officers, the inventory
responses showed that most of the responding agencies (77 percent) do not exempt
these officers from the facility’s rotation schedule. When medical and mental health
units are considered separately, the inventory data suggest that specially trained
staff are exempt from rotation outside medical units in less than 5 percent of the
responding agencies (3.8 percent) and from rotation outside mental health units in
only 11 percent of responding agencies. Only about half of the agencies (47 percent)
reported that the medical and mental health units have their own master roster.
Most of the responding agencies do not calculate a separate shift relief factor for
their medical or mental health units (9 percent and 20 percent, respectively). How­
ever, several agencies have a specific method to determine the number of security
staff needed to support medical/health service functions (40 percent) and/or mental
health functions (44 percent).4
While these data from the national inventory are interesting in and of themselves,
their implications for security staff decisions in medical and mental health units are
more important. In only about half of the responding agencies do medical and/or
mental health professionals collaborate with security staffing analysts to determine the
number, schedule, and/or post orders for security staff in their units. The focus group
participants were adamant that the following procedures should be implemented:
■	

Make the staffing analysis a joint process.

■	

Require specialized pre- and inservice training for security staff who work in
medical and mental health units.

■	

Conduct preliminary screening of applicants and/or follow a simple process for
reassigning staff who are inappropriate for the unit.

Summary
Security staffing for medical and mental health units poses special challenges for
the staffing analyst. As the researchers explored the roles of security staff in these
units, it became quite clear that the traditional security roles of supervising and
escorting/transporting inmates have been expanded. Security staff serve as the
first line of observation and reporting, making it necessary to consider specialized
training and the workload for these posts. Yet the lack of agreement among medi­
cal and mental health professionals as to what constitutes reliable and accurate
indicators of insufficient staffing in their units suggests that creativity is required
when evaluating security posts for these units. Both of these observations point to
the final security staffing issue: the need for collaboration between security staff­
ing decisionmakers and medical and mental health administrators. The need for a
joint staffing analysis process was emphasized repeatedly by all.
4

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In Staffing Analysis for Women’s Prisons and Special Prison Populations (Longmont, CO: U.S. Department
of Justice, National Institute of Corrections Information Center, 2002) Harding reports that 69 percent of the
correctional agencies responding to the survey used the same formal staffing analysis method for medical units as
for general-population units for men.

GLOSSARY


GLOSSARY


Administrative segregation. An administrative status assigned to an inmate by
special hearing, as opposed to a custody level assigned according to scoring based
on objective criteria. This status is assigned to inmates who pose serious manage­
ment and/or security risks to an institution’s orderly operation. Inmates in admin­
istrative segregation are kept separate from other inmates in special high-security
housing generally referred to as supermaximum housing. Their movement within
the institution is restricted, their privileges are restricted, and higher levels of
security procedures are used to manage them, including the use of restraints when
out of cell. Inmates are generally placed in administrative segregation for an in­
definite period of time, until they no longer present a serious risk.
Assault. An action taken that causes injury (or potential injury) to another indi­
vidual. The specific definition of assault varies across agencies; one agency may
restrict the definition to actions that cause serious physical harm while another
may expand the definition to include spitting and throwing bodily fluids.
Average daily population (ADP). The average number of inmates incarcerated
by an agency on any given day during one calendar year.
Closed post. A post to which no staff are assigned during a specific shift due to
staffing needs elsewhere.
Collapsible post. A post that is not staffed for a portion of a specific shift when
the officer is reassigned to another post. (See also pulled post.)
Collective bargaining unit agreement. An agreement between correctional man­
agement and union representatives concerning the agency’s staff deployment poli­
cies and practices, wages, or working conditions. The agreement usually results in
a modification in a current practice that has required adversarial negotiations and
compromises on both sides.
Community custody. Custody level at which inmates are assigned to community
residential facilities or halfway houses and participate in work, education, and
other activities in the community. Assigned inmates appear to present the least
risk to the community and therefore require only periodic supervision appropriate
to the circumstances of their particular program or job assignment.
Consent decree. An order issued by a judge that establishes conditions to which
both plaintiffs and defendants have agreed (in the case of prison/jail litigation, the

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GLOSSARY

defendant is almost always the prison or jail administration). Generally, consent
decrees set forth a series of requirements that prison or jail systems or individual
facilities must meet.
Correctional officer. Security staff (nonsupervisory) responsible for the direct
supervision of inmates and/or other operational and security administrative duties.
Critical complement. The minimum number of employees required to fill
mandatory/critical posts according to the post plan.
Custody level. The level of risk an inmate poses to the safety and security of a
correctional institution, other inmates, and the state, and the corresponding degree
of supervision required. An inmate’s custody level affects which facility he/she is
assigned to, his/her movement within and outside of the facility, general surveil­
lance, and access to programs and jobs.
Daily roster. A document that reflects daily assignments of uniformed staff to
each post for each shift that has been approved for the facility, according to the
master roster. The daily roster accounts for and shows the status of all uniformed
staff, including all staff absent and the reason for their absence; delineates the as­
signment of relief staff; and reflects the temporary detachment of uniformed staff.
Death row. Maximum-security housing reserved for inmates who have been sen­
tenced to death.
Disciplinary segregation. An administrative status assigned to an inmate by spe­
cial hearing, as opposed to a custody level assigned according to scoring based on
objective criteria. This status is assigned to inmates who are temporarily placed in
a separate housing area for a fixed amount of time as punishment for an infraction
of institutional rules, but not necessarily for committing a criminal act. (Note that
administrative segregation and disciplinary segregation are usually located in the
same high-security physical housing generally referred to as supermaximum.)
Essential post. A post that is required for normal facility operations and activities
but that may be temporarily interrupted without significant impact (e.g., visiting
room). Designation of the priority the post carries in staffing the facility on a
given shift.
Facility designation. The mission and physical capability of a facility to house
particular custody level(s) of inmates or to house inmates for special needs and/or
programs (e.g., maximum security, therapeutic community, geriatric unit, hospital,
mental health unit, or reception unit).
Full-time equivalent (FTE). A term used to translate staffing requirements into
the number of full-time staff members needed to fill the required hours. FTE
calculations consider the net amount of time a full-time staff member is available
(net annual work hours) after subtracting time away from the post (e.g., vacation,
sick leave, holidays, training time).

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GLOSSARY

Grievance. A formal complaint filed by an inmate, who uses a form to state his/
her disagreement with the agency and to request resolution. Inmates usually use
these forms when they believe that informal resolutions were unsuccessful or
unsatisfactory.
Inservice training. Training provided (usually annually, but often on an ad hoc
basis) to facility staff.
Intrusion devices. Any of a number of technologies that detect intrusion at the
perimeter and sound an alarm in central control so that a team is dispatched to
stop an escape.
Job description. A detailed statement of the duties and responsibilities associated
with a discrete job classification in the facility, but not necessarily tied to a spe­
cific post or shift (e.g., correctional officer, control room officer).
Mandated activity/operation. An activity/operation that is critical to the func­
tioning of the facility (e.g., center control room operations).
Mandatory post. A post/job that is critical to maintaining safety or security or
to accomplishing mandated activities/operations of a facility. Designation of the
priority the post carries in staffing the facility on a given shift.
Master roster. A document that reflects the assignment of uniformed staff to
each post approved in the staffing analysis report and indicates which staff serve
as fixed relief for each post. If a post included in the staffing analysis report is
vacant, the master roster shows the vacancy and provides the reason for it. The
master roster also reflects the shift and days off for each post and includes post
titles, operational staffing priority, roster number, employee name, date assigned
to the post, qualification data (e.g., weapons, commercial driver’s license), days
off, and days worked.
Maximum/High/Close custody (terms vary among agencies). An objectively
scored custody level that provides for continual supervision and accountability
of inmates who have demonstrated by their conduct (e.g., serious crimes) and/or
prior institutional behavior (e.g., assault, escape histories) that they pose a threat
to the safety and security of the institutional population and staff. These inmates
are not allowed outside the facility’s secure perimeter (except as required for court
appearances, transfers, or medical emergencies), are prohibited from participat­
ing in programs that entail outside movement, and are constantly observed while
inside the facility. On trips outside the secure perimeter (e.g., to and from court),
hand and leg restraints and sometimes armed supervision are required.
Medium custody. Custody level of inmates who require less than close custody
but more than minimal supervision; are assigned to regular quarters and are
eligible for all regular work assignments and activities under a normal level of su­
pervision; are not allowed outside the facility’s secure perimeter and are therefore
ineligible for work details or programs outside of that perimeter and whose inside

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GLOSSARY

movement (except callouts) is subject to the issuance of passes; and who are re­
strained for any outside movement except work or program assignments.
Medium-security facility. A facility designed for intermittent supervision and
observation of inmates. Movement is by pass or electronic accountability. The
compound is entered and exited via trap gate/sallyport and may include any
combination of walls, double fences, razor wire, armed towers, electronic security,
alarms, mobile patrols, dogs, single and/or double cells, rooms, or dormitory
housing (depending on the agency’s design policy).
Minimum/Low custody. Custody level of inmates who have demonstrated ac­
ceptable institutional behavior and are not deemed as threats to the community or
institutional security and safety. They generally may move in the facility without
the use of passes, and may participate unescorted in outside programs and work
details on a time-restricted basis with intermittent or indirect supervision.
Minimum-/Low-security facility. Facility that includes a fenced or posted perim­
eter and employs intermittent staff supervision and surveillance (preferably visual)
of entryways and exits. Inmates are held accountable for their exits, entries, and
time spent outside of the facility. Housing designs include single rooms, multiple
occupancy rooms, and dormitory housing.
Multilevel facility. Facility that houses more than one custody level or contains
housing units that house inmates with different levels of custody classification.
Each housing unit in a multilevel facility is normally in keeping with the particu­
lar custody level housed therein, except those that house inmates with special
management/needs considerations. If housing units are to be used interchangeably
by any custody level housed in the facility, they must be capable of accommodat­
ing inmates of the highest custody level, and perimeters of any multilevel facility
should always be capable of preventing the escape of inmates with the highest
custody level.
Net annual work hours (NAWH). The number of hours staff are available to
work per year. To calculate NAWH, take the number of hours per year staff are
contracted to work and subtract from that the average number of hours a staff
person is unavailable to work per year.
Nonsecurity staff. Staff whose primary functions and specific duties do not in­
clude inmate surveillance and control.
Operational expenditures. Money spent for staff, food, clothing, medical ser­
vices, programs, utilities, maintenance, supplies, and so forth.
Operational staffing plan. A list of posts to be closed or collapsed for each shift
in the event that other staffing needs or availability require such action.
Optional post. A post which, when opened, serves an important purpose, but
whose duties are not critical/essential for normal facility operations and for which

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GLOSSARY

coverage on an irregular basis does not adversely affect facility operations and
activities (e.g., second officer in a dormitory, fifth officer in the mess hall during
peak hours).
Overlapping shift. A shift that extends into one or two regular shifts to overlap cov­
erage. For example, a shift supervisor might have a 9-hour shift that begins one-half
hour before a regular 8-hour shift and ends one-half hour into the following shift.
Patients. Inmates who are medically or mentally ill and/or are receiving medical
or mental health services.
Permanent post. An officially established and authorized post that is listed in the
post plan.
Personal services budget. The amount of money in an annual or biennial cor­
rectional budget that is allocated for the payment of personal services utilized to
operate the correctional agency.
Position. A set of responsibilities and duties that constitute a function performed
by an employee, who may or may not occupy a post; may also refer to a job not
filled by any other staff member when the person holding the position is not on
duty (e.g., secretary, classification officer, assistant jail administrator). (Continu­
ous coverage usually distinguishes a post from a position; a position has tasks that
can usually be deferred until the staff member is available; posts have tasks that
usually cannot be deferred.)
Position description. A detailed statement of the responsibilities and duties as­
sociated with a particular position in the facility.
Post. An established staff function assigned to a particular area/service that is
scheduled to be occupied (open) at prescribed time periods and on particular days
according to a post plan; a job defined by its location, time, and specific duties. A
post can be occupied interchangeably by a number of security positions. (Continu­
ous coverage usually distinguishes a post from a position; a post has tasks that
usually cannot be deferred.)
Post bidding. Employee requests for assignments to specific and preferred posts
and shifts based on seniority and/or rank.
Post order. Detailed description of the responsibilities of a given post and the
tasks that are to be completed on each shift of that post.
Post plan. A listing by title of all security posts that are necessary to operate a cor­
rectional facility; a listing of all permanent posts in a facility by location, primary
function, priority, classification, and hours of operation. (The summary of a post plan
indicates by correctional officer rank the number of 5-day posts, 7-day posts, relief
positions required for the 7-day posts, and the total number of positions required.)

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Post rotation. The reassignment of security staff from one post to another within
the same shift.
Power shift. A shift that overlaps other shifts or differs substantially from regular
facility shifts. For example, an intake officer might be assigned to work from 8
p.m. to 4 a.m. on weekends to coincide with peak periods of admission.
Professional staff. Staff members with special education and training who pro­
vide specialized services to inmates (e.g., medical and mental health staff, educa­
tional and vocational instructors, recreation therapists).
Protective custody. An administrative status assigned to an inmate by special
determination, as opposed to a custody level assigned according to scoring based
on objective criteria. This status is assigned to inmates who request, or who are
deemed by staff to be in need of, protection from other inmates because their
safety or lives are in jeopardy. Protective custody inmates are housed in an area
separate from the general inmate population and moved under direct supervision
and apart from general population inmates to ensure that there is no contact with
potential assailants. They are also programmed separately from other inmates.
Pulled post. A post that is not staffed for a portion of a specific shift when its oc­
cupant is reassigned to another post. (See also collapsible post.)
Reception centers (admissions, diagnostic, intake, evaluation). Facilities that
house inmates whose custody level has not been assessed. Because the degree of
risk posed by these inmates is unknown, reception centers are constructed and
equipped to handle high/close or maximum custody inmates.
Recommended post plan. A post plan containing recommended post additions or
deletions or any other modifications needed. It is generally prepared and submit­
ted to security operations by the chief of security.
Security complement. The number of security positions available to fill the facil­
ity’s posts as delineated in the post plan.
Security level. The physical (architectural, environmental) constraints of an
institution designed and constructed to confine inmates. Factors include perimeter
security, existence and operation of watchtowers, external patrols, perimeter
detection devices, electronics for surveillance and locking, construction quality,
security materials, and equipment and housing design.
Security positions, posts, shifts, or assignments. Positions, posts, shifts, or as­
signments filled by correctional officers within the Department of Corrections.
Security post planning. An exercise performed to ensure efficient posting of staff
throughout the facility/agency that involves 1) the establishment and/or the review
of all security posts in a facility/agency according to specific guidelines and 2) the
presentation of recommendations in a usable format.

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GLOSSARY

Security staff. Uniformed staff whose primary function and duties are to protect
staff and inmates inside the facility from harm by means of surveillance, protect
the facility from contraband, maintain facility order according to specific pro­
cedures, supervise inmate activity, account for the whereabouts of all staff and
inmates at all times of the day and night, perform security operations and control
movement, and protect the facility from intruders.
Security staffing levels. Priority for posting designations given to each 5- and
7-day post.
Seniority. Continuous service in the job classification/occupational level. An em­
ployee is considered to have a break in service when the employee separates from
the Department of Corrections and is not on the payroll for at least 31 calendar
days following the separation.
Shift. A defined, recurring period of time during which a staff member is assigned
to work.
Shift relief factor. Number of staff needed to fill a relieved post (one that is cov­
ered on a continuous basis) for a single shift.
Staff deployment unit/section/officer. The staff person(s) in charge of maintain­
ing and implementing staff deployment policy and procedures and of planning
and conducting staffing analyses at the agency, regional, and facility levels.
Staffing analysis. An exercise using methodical and detailed procedures to estab­
lish, validate, and/or modify post plans, scheduling patterns, shift relief factors,
and so forth to calculate the number of full-time-equivalent positions required
to maintain a full complement of staff to operate a facility safely and securely
without the use of overtime; a comprehensive and systematic process of determin­
ing staff needs (in response to changes in the facility’s philosophy, operations, or
physical plant) and developing staff assignment patterns for the facility.
Staffing analysis report. A document that reflects each regular post approved for
a facility, indicating the post’s title, classification, minimum staffing priority, post
order number, and shift assignment; the number of days the post is filled; whether
the post requires relief; the appropriate shift relief factor to be applied; and the
total number of staff needed to cover the post.
Staffing analyst. An individual who performs one or more of several functions
for a correctional agency or facility during a staffing analysis. Staffing analysts
oversee the staffing analysis for an agency or facility, evaluate posts and make
recommendations for their function and use, develop shift relief factors for job
classifications and facilities, and prepare a report of the results and implications of
the staffing analysis.
Standards. Mandatory and voluntary operating conditions for a prison.
National, state, and local standards provide important guidelines for developing
and evaluating staffing plans.

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GLOSSARY

Supermaximum-security facility. Facility for inmates who are a threat to institu­
tional security and therefore have been admitted to administrative segregation by
hearing rather than the classification process, and for whom the greatest degree of
observation and stringent security is applied, restricting them to their cells for the
majority of their time. Movement within the facility requires constant observation,
restraint, and/or electronic surveillance. All entry into and exit from the compound
are via trap gate/sallyport. Security restraints and armed escorts are required for
trips. Physical security may include any combination of walls, double fences,
razor wire, armed towers, electronic security, alarms, mobile patrols, dogs, and
so forth. Cells are either contained within a cell block on four sides (so that if an
inmate escapes from a cell, he/she is still confined within the building) or are dou­
bly secured from the perimeter by security hardware (e.g., rebar within concrete
walls, electronic locking, solid steel doors, bars, fences). Some supermaximum­
security facilities reinforce cells with extra hardware, and some cell houses
are even equipped with weapons located in a secure, remote, but strategically
positioned spot ready for use. Many of these facilities are designed for indirect
supervision to minimize the opportunity for assaults on staff.
Supervision of inmates. Staff activities that involve direct, barrier-free contact
with inmates, including conversing and interacting directly with them. Good
supervision allows staff to sense inmate moods, anticipate problems, and prevent
future problems.
Surveillance of inmates. Staff activities that include observing or monitoring in­
mate behavior, often through glass barriers or by using audio or visual equipment.
For example, an officer may view a housing area or dayroom from an enclosed
control station or through a closed-circuit television monitor.
Surveillance technology. Technological devices such as barcode readers, video
cameras, audio devices, intercom systems, and movement detection devices that
are used to replace or enhance staff surveillance of inmates, thereby increasing
awareness and accountability for movement and location of persons at the facility.
Temporary post. A post for which approval/authorization is limited to a given
number of days.
Unclassified (admission/transient). Classification status of inmates whose threat
to institutional safety and security has not been assessed formally because they are
new admissions or because they are in transit from one facility to another.
Uniformed staff. All correctional security staff, including majors, captains, lieu­
tenants, sergeants, and officers.
Unit management. Semiautonomous form of management that uses direct su­
pervision and minimal rotation of staff in a housing unit. Widely considered the
preferred type of supervision.

140

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GLOSSARY

Vacant post. A post included in a facility’s staffing analysis report to which no
staff are assigned for an extended period (longer than one shift) due to staffing
needs.
Zero-based budgeting. The development of an annual budget for a facility as
though the facility’s prior budget has no weight; that is, every budget item requires
a rationale for how the budget figure was calculated independent of the historical
budget figure from the previous year or years.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY


Bibliography
Court Cases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
State Agency Policies and Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Staffing Analysis Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Staffing Training Manuals and Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Medical and Mental Health Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Women’s Issues Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Workforce Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

145

145

146

147

147

148

149


BIBLIOGRAPHY


Court Cases
Gates v. Rowland, 39 F.3d 1439 (9th Cir. 1994).
United States v. Michigan, 97–CV–71514 (6th Cir. 2000).
Williams v. McKeithen, 71–98–B (5th Cir. 2003).
Williams et al. v. Edwards, 95–30835 (5th Cir. 1996).

State Agency Policies and Procedures
Arizona Department of Corrections. Director’s Instruction #169, Staffing
Procedures. December 12, 2001.
Kansas Department of Corrections. Internal Management Policy and Procedure,
Human Resources: Security Post Rotation and Shift Assignment, Section 02–102.
Effective: December 21, 2003.
Kansas Department of Corrections. Internal Management Policy and Procedure,
Human Resources: Relief Factor, Section 02–112. Effective: June 10, 2001.
Kansas Department of Corrections. Internal Management Policy and
Procedure, Human Resources: Roster Management, Section 02–111.
Effective: May 21, 2002.
Montana Department of Corrections. Policies and Procedures, Policy Number
DOC 3.1.34, Correctional Facility Staffing, Chapter 3: Facility Programs/
Operations. Rev. June 1, 2002.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Section–04 Security OP–040113,
Master Roster and Staffing Analysis, p. 1. Effective: January 6, 2003.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Section–04 Security OP–040113,
Master Roster and Staffing Analysis, Attachment A: Master Roster, p. 1.
Effective: April 2002.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Section–04 Security OP–040113,
Master Roster and Staffing Analysis, Attachment B: Calculating the Shift Relief
Factor, p. 1. Effective: November 2002.

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South Carolina Department of Corrections. Shift Relief Factor, Calendar Years
1994–2001.

Staffing Analysis Reports
California Code of Regulations. 2001. Minimum Standards for Local Detention
Facilities, title 15, division 1, chapter 1, subchapter 4.
Connecticut General Assembly, Legislative Program Review and Investigations
Committee. September 10, 2003. Correctional Officer Staffing. http://search.cga.
state.ct.us/dtSearch_lpa.html.
Criminal Justice Institute. 1993. Staff Deployment and Roster Management
Plans for the Current and Proposed Facilities of the Philadelphia Prison System.
Middletown, CT: Criminal Justice Institute.
Criminal Justice Planning Services. 1999. Pierce County Jail Staffing Analysis,
Final Report. Olympia, WA: Criminal Justice Planning Services.
Criminal Justice Solutions. 2002. Evaluation of Current Security Staffing at Exist­
ing Arizona State Prison Complexes. Middletown, CT: Criminal Justice Solutions.
Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability.
January 10, 1996. Policy Review of the Department of Corrections’ Correctional
Officer Staffing. Tallahassee, FL: Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and
Government Accountability.
Goldman, Mark. 2003. Jail Design Review Handbook. Washington, DC: U.S. Depart­
ment of Justice, National Institute of Corrections. NIC Accession Number 018443.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. nd. Figuring Shift Relief Factors. PowerPoint
Presentation. Golden, CO: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Maryland General Assembly. 2003. Department of Public Safety and Correctional
Services Correctional Officer Staffing. Annapolis, MD: Maryland General Assem­
bly, Department of Legislative Services, Office of Legislative Audits.
Nathan, Vincent M., and William H. Dallman. June 12, 2000. Report on Security.
Phoenix, AZ: Arizona Department of Corrections.
Scott County (Iowa) Sheriff’s Office. 2002. Staffing Analysis Update. PowerPoint
Presentation. Davenport, IA: Scott County Sheriff’s Office.
State of Minnesota. nd. Minnesota Rules. Staffing Requirements, Jail Facilities,
Department of Corrections. 2911.0900.
State of Texas, Office of the State Auditor. 2001. An Audit Report on Correctional
Officer Staffing at the Department of Criminal Justice. Report No. 01–019. Aus­
tin, TX: Office of the State Auditor.

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Voorhis Associates, Inc. June 25, 2002. Mobile County Sheriff’s Office Metro Bar­
racks Staffing Analysis. Lafayette, CO: Voorhis Associates, Inc.

Staffing Training Manuals and Materials
Benton, F. Warren. 1981. Planning and Evaluating Jail and Prison Staffing. Wash­
ington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections. NIC
Accession Number 002225.
Booth, W.L. 1989. Manager’s Guide to Alternative Work Schedules, 2d ed. Jack­
sonville, FL: Institute of Police Technology and Management.
Elias, Gail L., and John Milosovich. 1999. Allocation and Deployment of Person­
nel. NIC Prisons Special Seminar. Lafayette, CO.
Liebert, Dennis R., and Rod Miller. 1988. Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails.
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections.
NIC Accession Number 006510.
Liebert, Dennis R., and Rod Miller. 2003. Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails,
2d ed. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Correc­
tions. NIC Accession Number 016827.
Liebert, Dennis R., John Milosovich, and Gary Frank. 2003. How to Open a New
Institution: Resource Guide. Boulder, CO: National Institute of Corrections Jails
Center. NIC Accession Number 002768.
Thornton, Robert L., Ronald G. Schweer, and Joe S. Barton. 2003. New Ap­
proaches to Staff Safety, 2d ed. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice,
National Institute of Corrections. NIC Accession Number 011356.

Medical and Mental Health Materials
Anno, B. Jaye. 2001. Correctional Health Care: Guidelines for the Management
of an Adequate Delivery System. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice,
National Institute of Corrections. NIC Accession Number 017521.
Anno, B. Jaye, Camelia Graham, James E. Lawrence, and Ronald Shansky. 2003.
Correctional Health Care: Addressing the Needs of Elderly, Chronically Ill, and
Terminally Ill Inmates. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National
Institute of Corrections. NIC Accession Number 018735.
Georgia Department of Corrections, Office of Health Services. 2003. Georgia
Department of Corrections Health Services Overview for FY 2003. Atlanta, GA:
Georgia Department of Corrections.
Kienzle, Michael G. November 27, 2001. Telemedicine Overview. PowerPoint
Presentation, Iowa Legislative Briefing.

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Massachusetts Department of Correction, Health Services Division. 2003. Clini­
cal Contract Personnel and the Role of DOC Health Services. No. 103 DOC 610.
Milford, MA: Massachusetts Department of Correction.
North Dakota Legislative Council Staff for the Budget Committee on Govern­
ment Services. 2003. Correctional and Mental Health Facilities and Services.
Bismarck, ND: North Dakota Legislative Council Staff for the Budget Committee
on Government Services.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections. 2003. Mental Health Administration/
Organization. OP–140140. Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma Department of
Corrections.
Shimkus, Jaime. 2002. “Talk About a Revolution! Jail Turnaround Turns Heads.”
CorrectCare (Winter).
Stana, Richard M. June 14, 2000. Federal Prisons: Responses to Questions Re­
lated to Containing Health Care Costs for an Increasing Inmate Population. Letter
to The Honorable Strom Thurmond, U.S. Senate. Washington, DC: U.S. General
Accounting Office.
U.S. General Accounting Office. April 6, 2000. Federal Prisons: Containing
Health Care Costs for an Increasing Inmate Population. Testimony Before the
Subcommittee on Criminal Justice Oversight Committee on the Judiciary, U.S.
Senate. Washington, DC: U.S. General Accounting Office.

Women’s Issues Materials
Bloom, Barbara, Barbara Owen, and Stephanie Covington. 2003. GenderResponsive Strategies: Research, Practice, and Guiding Principles for Women
Offenders. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of
Corrections. NIC Accession Number 018017.
Carp, Scarlett V., and Joyce A. Davis. 1989. Design Considerations in the Build­
ing of Women’s Prisons. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National
Institute of Corrections. NIC Accession Number 010783.
Collins, William C., and Andrew W. Collins. 1996. Women in Jail: Legal Issues.
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections.
NIC Accession Number 013770.
Cranford, Susan, and Rose Williams. 1998. “Women Offenders Have Unique
Needs Which Impact the Ways in Which Staff Manage Them.” Corrections Today
(December): 130–134.
Council of State Governments, Southern Legislative Conference. 2000. LSC
Special Series Report: Female Offenders: Special Needs and Southern State
Challenges. Atlanta, GA: The Council of State Governments.

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Florida House of Representatives, Criminal Justice and Corrections Council,
Committee on Corrections. July 2000. The Female Inmate: An Examination of
Female Inmates Services. Tallahassee, FL: Florida House of Representatives.
Harding, B.G. 2002. Staffing Analysis for Women’s Prisons and Special Prison
Populations. Special Issues in Corrections. Longmont, CO: U.S. Department
of Justice, National Institute of Corrections Information Center. NIC Accession
Number 018602.
Hardyman, Patricia L., and Patricia Van Voorhis. 2004. Developing GenderSpecific Classification Systems for Women Offenders. Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections. NIC Accession
Number 018931.
Krauth, Barbara. September 1988. Staff Inmate Ratios: Why It’s So Hard to Get to
the Bottom Line. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute
of Corrections. NIC Accession Number 007105.
LIS, Inc. 1998. Current Issues in the Operations of Women’s Prisons. Special
Issues in Corrections. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National
Institute of Corrections. NIC Accession Number 014784.
Missouri Department of Corrections. 2002. Status Report on Women Offenders.
Jefferson City, MO: Missouri Department of Corrections.
Missouri Department of Corrections. 2003. Why Gender-Responsive Strategies?
Jefferson City, MO: Missouri Department of Corrections.
Morash, Merry, Timothy S. Bynum, and Barbara A. Koons. 1998. Women Offend­
ers: Programming Needs and Promising Approaches. Research in Brief. Wash­
ington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National
Institute of Justice. NCJ 171668.

Workforce Materials
Association of State Correctional Administrators. 1996. Managing Staff:
Corrections’ Most Valuable Resource. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of
Justice, National Institute of Corrections.
Camp, George, and Camille Camp, editors. 1991–2001. Corrections Yearbook.
Middletown, CT.
Criminal Justice Institute, Inc. 2002. Addressing Prison Workforce Issues in the
21st Century: Approaches That Work. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Jus­
tice, National Institute of Corrections.
Workforce Associates. Inc. 2004. A 21st Century Workforce for America’s Correc­
tional Profession: Part One of a Three-Part Study Commissioned by the American
Correctional Association. Lanham, MD: American Correctional Association.

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A PPE N DIX A

SECURITY STAFFING FOR
PRISONS: RESULTS OF FOUR
NATIONWIDE INVENTORIES

Appendix A. Security Staffing for Prisons:
Results of Four Nationwide Inventories
Findings of the National Inventory on Best Practices in
Prison Staffing Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .154

Findings of the National Inventory on Appropriate Security Staffing for
Medical Service Delivery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .161

Findings of the National Inventory on Appropriate Security Staffing for
Mental Health Service Delivery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .166

Findings of the National Inventory on Staffing for Women’s
Correctional Institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .172

Inventory Questionnaires
Best Practices in Prison Staffing Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .179

Appropriate Security Staffing for Medical Service Delivery . . . . . . . . . . . . . .187

Appropriate Security Staffing for Mental Health Service Delivery . . . . . . . . .193

Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .201


APPENDIX A

Security Staffing for Prisons:
Results of Four Nationwide Inventories

The National Institute of Corrections’ project to adapt the Staffing Analysis
Workbook for Jails1 for correctional agencies included the task of identifying the
current and best security staffing analysis practices nationwide and incorporating
them into a training program for correctional agencies. The project also included
taking an inventory of exemplary staffing practices in men’s prisons, women’s
correctional facilities, and facilities and/or units for chronically ill and mentally ill
populations. The results of these inventories were used in developing this training
manual. The inventory responses were also used to identify potential participants
to attend three national focus group meetings to explore staffing issues and best
practices in staffing facilities and units for four populations—agencywide popula­
tions in general, medically and chronically ill populations, mentally ill popula­
tions, and women’s general populations.
Very early in the process of developing the inventory instrument, it became clear
that four custom-crafted inventories (rather than a single instrument) would be
required to collect relevant staffing information about these populations. To mini­
mize confusion associated with agency-specific language or terms, the inventories
provided definitions of key terms and contact information (telephone numbers and
e-mail addresses) for the Criminal Justice Institute, which developed the invento­
ries, should further clarification be needed.
In November 2003, the four inventories were mailed to the directors of corrections
for each of the 50 states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons with a request that they
be directed to the agency employees most qualified to discuss staff deployment,
delivery of medical services, delivery of mental health services, and staffing in
women’s facilities. Copies of the four inventories are included at the end of this
appendix. The specific parameters for respondents established by each inventory
are as follows:
■	

Best Practices in Prison Staffing Analysis. This inventory was to be complet­
ed by the individual in charge of security staff deployment. If no one individual
was responsible, it was to be completed by the person most knowledgeable
about the agency’s security staffing procedures and practices.

1

Dennis R. Liebert and Rod Miller, Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails, 2d edition (Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 2003).

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■	

Appropriate Security Staffing for Medical Service Delivery. This inventory
was to be completed by the individual in charge of delivering medical services
to chronically ill inmates in corrections facilities and special units. If a private
contractor provided security and medical/health services for the agency, either
the agency’s contract monitor or the contractor was to complete this inventory.

■	

Appropriate Security Staffing for Mental Health Service Delivery. This in­
ventory was to be completed by the individual in charge of delivering services
to mentally ill inmates. If a private contractor provided security and mental
health services for the agency, either the agency’s contract monitor or the con­
tractor was to complete the inventory.

■	

Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions. This inventory was to be
completed by the individual in charge of staff deployment for adult female
inmates. If such a division did not exist, the person most knowledgeable and/or
responsible for staffing women’s facilities was to complete this inventory.

The researchers began their analyses of inventory results in February 2004, after
multiple mailings and followup via telephone and e-mail to prompt the agencies
to complete and return the inventories. The response rates were as follows: Best
Practices in Prison Staffing Analysis, 71 percent (36 agencies); Appropriate Secu­
rity Staffing for Medical Service Delivery, 63 percent (32 agencies); Appropriate
Security Staffing for Mental Health Service Delivery, 65 percent (33 agencies);
and Staffing Deployment for Women’s Correctional Institutions, 71 percent (36
agencies). Analyses of the specific agencies that responded suggested that the
sample accurately reflected current national trends; the respondents represented
agencies with small, moderate, and large prison populations from every geo­
graphic region in the country.
Because the four inventories each focused on somewhat different topics and
questions, the findings are discussed separately here and comparisons drawn as
appropriate.

Findings of the National Inventory on Best Practices
in Prison Staffing Analysis
The Staffing Analysis Process
The first series of questions in the staffing analysis inventory focused on the
correctional agency’s process for managing its staffing complement. Although
71 percent of the agencies reported that their policies require a periodic analysis
of security staffing levels, only about half had a designated agency-level posi­
tion dedicated to the management of staffing. As shown in table 1, only about
one-third of the agencies conduct an analysis of security staffing needs annually,
and about 10 percent conduct an analysis every 2 years. Among those that have
a regular schedule for conducting staffing analyses, about half of the agencies

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reported that they conduct interim reviews of components of the process between
regularly scheduled staffing analyses. Clearly, the norm across all of the agencies
is to conduct an analysis of security staff deployment “as needed.”
Table 1 suggests that for most agencies (approximately 74 percent), staffing
analyses for nonsecurity and professional staff also are conducted only as needed.
When asked what factors might prompt an agency to conduct a staffing analysis,
18 of the 32 agencies (56 percent) indicated that use of overtime or excessive
overtime was an important factor. Other reasons included changes in the mission
or security level of a facility, facility-specific problems, and requests for additional
staff.
Table 1. Frequency at Which Correctional Agencies Conduct
Staffing Analyses
Frequency of Evaluation (%)
Staffing Evaluated

As Needed

Annually

Every 2 Years

Security

50.00

31.30

9.40

Not Required

Nonsecurity

74.20

12.90

3.20

9.70

Professional

73.30

10.00

3.30

13.30

9.40

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Best Practices in Prison Staffing
Analysis.

When asked about the methodology they used for staffing analysis, the agencies
were consistent in the procedures they identified (table 2). For most (75 percent),
a staffing analysis includes the following procedures:
■

Review of the operation of posts on a shift-by-shift basis.

■

Review of the master and daily rosters.

■

Review of current staffing patterns.

■

Review of the post priority for occupancy.

■

Review of scheduling patterns.

■

Recalculation of the required number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) employees.

Only about 50 percent of the agencies generate a written report summarizing the
methodology, findings, and recommendations resulting from the staffing analysis.
Perhaps the most troubling response regarding procedures was the lack of automa­
tion: only 38.2 percent of the agencies reported that their staffing procedures were
automated.
As suggested in table 2 (page 156), most of the agencies have a specific formula
or process for calculating the number of FTE positions required for security staff.
When asked specifically if their agency computes a shift relief factor (SRF), 88.2
percent answered yes; however, as shown in table 3 (page 157), the responses
varied dramatically with regard to the specific formula or calculation. Although

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Table 2. Procedures Included in a Security Staffing Analysis Process
Procedure

Agencies Including
Procedure (%)

Review of the operation of posts on a shift-by-shift basis

88.6

Review of daily rosters

85.7

Recalculation of required FTE

85.7

Review of the master roster

80.0

Review of existing scheduling patterns to determine the most economical

77.1

Review of the staffing complement by priority (i.e., critical, essential, optional)

77.1

Formal add-and-delete procedure that includes justifications for
modifications and is reviewed by higher authorities

74.3

Study of time and attendance to determine average use of leave

68.6

Review of procedures and practices for weekly and monthly assignments,
by shift

68.6

Recalculation of a shift relief factor or NAWH based on leave policies

65.7

Generation of a written report summarizing the methodology, findings,
and recommendations resulting from the staffing analysis

54.3

Standardized report summarizing the activities and decisions associated
with staffing

37.1

FTE = full-time equivalent; NAWH = net annual work hours
Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Best Practices in Prison Staffing
Analysis.

few agencies (32 percent) calculate a separate SRF for each security rank, half
calculate a separate SRF for each of their facilities. Perhaps one of the more
surprising results from this inventory was the lack of consistency as to the types
of leave included in the calculation. Virtually all agencies include vacation days
(94 percent), sick leave (91 percent), and training days (85 percent), yet less than
half include absences for bereavement (44.1 percent), leave without pay (44.1
percent), and meals or break hours (23.5 percent). Of particular interest, given the
prevalence of military service among correctional staff, only about two-thirds of
the agencies include military leave in the computation of their SRFs.
Decisionmaking in Establishing a Security Post
To learn about the agencies’ processes for determining when to establish or delete
a post, respondents were asked to rate the importance of a series of factors related
to the physical environment, management- and staff-related issues, activities, and
the inmate population in deciding whether to add or eliminate a post. Respondents
rated each factor’s influence on their posting decisions on a scale of 0 to 5, where
0 is “not considered,” 1 is “very little influence,” 2 is “small amount of influence,”
3 is “moderate amount of influence,” 4 is “significant influence,” and 5 is “utmost
influence.”

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Table 3. Calculation of the Shift Relief Factor
Process: Does your agency . . .

Agencies Responding
Yes (%)

Compute a shift relief factor?

88.2

Calculate a separate shift relief factor for each security rank?

32.3

Use the same shift relief factor calculation for all security staff?

63.3

Calculate a separate shift relief factor for each individual facility?

50.0

Include the following types of leave/absence in its shift relief factor?
Vacation

94.1

Sick

91.2

Training

85.3

Holiday

79.4

Personal

67.6

Military leave

64.7

Compensatory time

52.9

Injury on duty

52.9

Leave with pay

52.9

Bereavement

44.1

Leave without pay

44.1

Meal and break

23.5

Position vacancy rate

44.1

Positions for training

50.0

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Best Practices in Prison Staffing
Analysis.

Physical Factors
The most important physical factors considered when establishing or deleting a
security position were the physical design of the unit, sightlines, the location of
a control room, and the type of housing (single or double cells, multioccupancy
rooms, dormitories). The average rating for each of these factors was greater than
or equal to 4.0 (table 4, pages 158–159). On the other hand, it is significant that
none of the factors was ranked as being of utmost influence. The physical factors
that were considered least important to posting decisions were those associated
with activities in the unit: the presence of a computer station, arts and crafts mate­
rials, recreation equipment, and rooms for counseling, interviews, or classes.
Management- and Staff-Related Factors
Management- and staff-related factors were considered of minor to moderate im­
portance in posting decisions; the average ratings for these factors were between
2.0 and 3.5. The management factor with the highest rating was the need for secu­
rity staff with special training (3.5). Also of moderate influence were factors such
as the role of the security staff in unit management and the presence and input
of the unit’s professional staff regarding security staffing needs. In contrast, little
consideration appeared to be given to the staffing requirements of private vendors
(2.1) or labor contracts (2.0).

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APPENDIX A

Table 4. Ranking of Factors for Establishing and Deleting Security Posts
Security Posting Factor

Average Rating*

Physical factors
Physical design/configuration (pod, cell block, dormitory) of housing unit


4.4

Sightlines of unit or area (ability to observe all cell fronts, functional space, and dayroom movement)


4.3

Location of a control room that supports the unit (e.g., entry and exit, equipment access, 

emergency backup, counts, etc.)


4.2

Type of housing (single or double cells, multioccupancy rooms, dormitories)


4.0

Presence of rooms/cells for constant observation of ill or unstable inmates


3.9

Method of locking and unlocking cells (electronic vs. key) 


3.8

Showers in cells as opposed to group showers 


3.2

If/when cells/rooms are left open or inmate has a key to the cell/room


3.1

Bathrooms in cells/rooms as opposed to group showers


3.1

Capacity and configuration of dayroom space


3.0

Number and functionality of dedicated spaces inside the unit for professional program functions


3.0

Presence of recreation area accessible to and adjacent to the unit


3.0

Efficiency of lighting


3.0

Presence of video surveillance for some or all cells in the unit 


2.9

Number of group work/activity rooms in the housing unit/functional space


2.8

Space for administering medication


2.8

Presence of sick call/examining room(s) in the housing unit


2.6

Number of nonsecurity professional staff who must be shared with other facility units


2.6

Presence of alarm buttons in program/service spaces 


2.6

Presence of a classroom


2.4

Presence of interview/counseling rooms for two persons


2.2

Presence of recreation equipment on the unit


2.2

Presence of arts and crafts material/equipment/classroom


2.1

Presence of intercom system for communication between staff and prisoners


2.0

Presence of computer capability and space in the unit/other functional space


1.9

Presence of computer learning stations


1.3

Management- and staff-related factors
Need for security staff with special training


3.5

Ratio of security staff to prisoners


3.3

Commitment of certain types of staff for unit management 


3.1

Number of professional staff dedicated to the unit (e.g., medical, mental health, counseling)


3.0

Periods professional/nonsecurity staff work in the unit 


3.0

Input from mental health staff


3.0

Input from medical staff


3.0

Cross-gender staffing


2.9

Number and kind of nonsecurity staff working in the unit (e.g., food, commissary, mail workers)


2.8

Issues of concern about gender-specific programming and services


2.7

Staffing requirements negotiated with service providers


2.1

Staffing stipulation(s) in labor contract 


2.0

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Table 4. Ranking of Factors for Establishing and Deleting Security Posts (continued)
Security Posting Factor

Average Rating*

Activity factors
Number of prisoners out of their cells/rooms at any one time


4.2

Time and schedule for prisoners to be outside of the housing unit for particular functions, programs, 

and activities


4.1

Time and schedule for prisoners to be out of their cells/rooms but in the unit for particular functions, 

programs, and activities


4.0

Where the prisoners eat (in or out of room, dedicated unit dining room, or general facility dining 

room)


3.8

Special duties such as security supervision of pill lines, treatments, examinations, group therapy


3.7

Inmate population factors
Custody level of prisoners (e.g., close vs. medium vs. minimum)

4.6

Number of prisoners being supervised

4.4

Mental state of the prisoners in the unit (e.g., psychotic, suicidal, special issues)

4.3

Special duty to constantly watch/observe acutely sick or unstable inmate(s)

4.3

Special duty to regularly escort prisoners to mental health or medical offices

4.2

Direct supervision, indirect supervision, or a combination of both

4.1

Presence of multiple custody levels (e.g., medium and close, medium and minimum)

4.1

Physical condition of the prisoners in the unit (i.e., mobility, conditions of illness)

3.7

Special duty to escort and/or assist disabled prisoners

3.6

Classification of prisoners according to personality type

3.1

Gender of prisoners

2.9

* Respondents were asked to rate on a scale of 0 to 5 the factor’s influence on their decision to place a post: 0 = not considered; 1 = very little influence;
2 = small amount of influence; 3 = moderate amount of influence; 4 = significant influence; 5 = utmost influence.
Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Best Practices in Prison Staffing Analysis.

Activity Factors
As previously noted, the activity-related physical characteristics of the unit had
only minimal influence on posting decisions; however, respondents consistently
rated the activities that take place in the unit as having a significant influence on
posting decisions. The most influential factors were the number of prisoners out
of their cells at any one time (4.2), the time and schedule for the prisoners to be
outside the housing unit (4.1), and the time and schedule for prisoners to be out of
their cells but in the unit (4.0).
Inmate Population Factors
Given these ratings for inmate activities, it was not surprising to find that the post­
ing decision factor with the highest rating across all categories was the custody
level of the prisoners in the unit (4.6). Closely associated with this factor was the
number of prisoners in the unit (4.4), the prisoners’ mental state (4.3), and specialduty requirements to observe or escort sick or unstable inmates (4.3). The data show
that the inmate-related factor given the least consideration in posting decisions was

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APPENDIX A

gender (2.9). These findings are similar to those reported in a survey of staffing
practices in state correctional agencies that indicated that the gender of the inmate
population was not a significant factor in the posting process.2 Ninety percent of
the correctional agencies in that survey reported using the same staffing analysis
process for male and female inmates.
Establishing Posts To Meet Requirements for Units With Special
Populations
Survey respondents answered a series of questions about security staff working in
units housing special populations. Ninety-four percent of the responding agencies
provided their security staff with special training in working with mentally ill
prisoners, but only 45 percent provided special training in working with chroni­
cally ill prisoners (table 5). Two-thirds of the agencies provided special training in
working with female prisoners. The number of hours of both initial and inservice
training for security staff working with these populations varied widely. Staff
working with mentally ill prisoners received the most training—an average of
16.0 hours initially and 6.6 hours thereafter in annual inservice training. Staff as­
signed to work in women’s units received more initial training than those assigned
to units for chronically ill prisoners but received the least amount of specialized
annual inservice training (1.9 hours). Most agencies (77 percent) did not exempt
these specially trained staff from the facility’s rotation schedule. About half of the
agencies reported that the medical and mental health units had their own master
roster.
Table 5. Security Staff Training for Working With Special Populations
Training Required (%)

Average Hours of Training

Population

Yes

No

Initially

Annual Inservice

Mentally ill prisoners

94.1

5.9

16.0

6.6

Chronically ill prisoners

45.2

54.8

4.7

3.4

Female prisoners

65.6

34.4

9.2

1.9

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Best Practices in Prison Staffing
Analysis.

Compliance With Standards and Externally Imposed Staffing
Requirements
The final section of the security staffing inventory focused on external forces
or factors that influence security staffing decisions. Less than 10 percent of the
agencies reported that they were operating under a consent decree, court order,
and/or memorandum of agreement with regard to staffing patterns and/or levels.3
2

B.G. Harding, Staffing Analysis for Women’s Prisons and Special Prison Populations, Special Issues in Correc­
tions (Longmont, CO: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections Information Center, 2002).

3

Current consent decrees/memoranda of agreement included Balla v. Idaho State Bd. of Corr., 595 F. Supp.
1558, 1577 (D. Idaho 1984) and Stampley v. State of Minn. Dep’t of Corr. et al. (1996). Stampley was resolved
by a memorandum of agreement and the court case was closed on 4/22/1996. See RE: APPOINTMENT OF
TRUSTEE FOR GREGORY STAMPLEY, DEC vs. SFE, (Wrongful Death, Washington County-Stillwater, MN,
4/22/1996, Case No. 82-C1-94-002846).

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Table 6. Influence of Labor Agreements in Determining Correctional
Staffing Levels
Affects Staffing Levels (%)
Type of Staff

Yes

No

Correctional officers

21.2

78.8

Supervisors

18.8

81.3

Program staff

6.7

93.3

Professional staff

3.4

96.6

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Best Practices in Prison Staffing
Analysis.

Likewise, only 20 percent of the agencies reported a previous consent decree,
court order, and/or memorandum of agreement no longer in force that controlled
staffing patterns and/or levels.
Given the bargaining power of labor unions and the prevalence of union member­
ship among state correctional workers, it is interesting that labor agreements
played a role in determining staffing levels in only about 20 percent of the agen­
cies. As shown in table 6, labor agreements influenced supervisory, program, and
professional staffing decisions for relatively few agencies.
On the other hand, three-quarters of the correctional agencies reported following
standards set by a professional monitoring and accreditation agency such as the
American Correctional Association (ACA), the National Commission on Cor­
rectional Health Care (NCCHC), or the Joint Commission on Accreditation of
Hospitals (JCAH). Of these 25 agencies, 15 reported using ACA’s professional
standards. Several agencies reported using multiple sets of professional standards
and/or state standards. The majority of correctional agencies (73.3 percent) re­
ported having written policies and procedures that governed staffing practices.

Findings of the National Inventory on Appropriate
Security Staffing for Medical Service Delivery
Administrative Structure
The delivery of medical services in correctional systems varied substantially by
agency and, in many systems, by facility. The data in table 7 (page 162) suggest
that the responding agencies are fairly evenly divided in the format used for deliv­
ery of medical services: some provide their own medical services, others contract
with a private vendor for all services, and others contract with a private vendor
only for some services or for services in some facilities. Most responding agencies
(91 percent) had an administrator at the agency level responsible for managing
service delivery and/or monitoring contracts with private vendors.

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Table 7. Medical Delivery Systems in Correctional Agencies
Provider of Service (%)
Medical Service Delivery Component

DOC

Contract

DOC and
Contract

Medical services are offered in varying
levels of care, all of which may not be
accessible at every facility.

32.4

29.4

35.3

All facilities offer some access to medical services.

32.4

29.4

38.2

In a facility, services are, in some instances,
provided in separate residential medical unit(s).

38.2

9.4

23.5

Services from other agencies, facilities, and
entities outside the department are delivered to
or accessed by prisoners.

9.4

50.0

17.6

DOC = Department of Corrections
Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Appropriate Security Staffing for
Medical Service Delivery.

Roles, Expectations, and Levels of Security Staffing for
Medical Services
Survey responses suggest that the roles, expectations, and relationships of health
services and security staff are complex and, to some extent, evolving. Only 47
percent of the respondents reported that security personnel routinely solicited
their input about staffing needs in medical/health service delivery areas. In most
of the agencies (85 percent), health services staff did not screen security staff to
determine their suitability to work with chronically ill prisoners. However, in 79
percent of the agencies, health services staff provided specialized training for
security staff working in their units.
As shown in table 8, health services staff expected security staff to play a variety
of roles and carry out multiple responsibilities. The respondents unanimously
agreed that security staff were responsible for reporting unusual changes in an
inmate’s physical condition (100 percent), and nearly all agreed that security staff
were responsible for ensuring security during the delivery of medical services
inside and outside the housing units (97.1 percent) and for escorting inmates
to medical services (94.3 percent). Almost half of the respondents (49 percent)
expected security staff to participate in inmate treatment team meetings and to
schedule and produce inmates for medical appointments.
The responses to a series of questions about indicators of insufficient security
staffing for medical service requirements did not correspond to health services
staff’s expectations for security staff. As shown in table 9, few correctional agen­
cies cited medical staff complaints about lack of safety (28 percent) and prisoners’
consistent lateness for medical appointments (24 percent) as indicators of insuf­
ficient security staffing, although table 8 shows that 94 percent cited escorting
inmates to medical appointments as a key responsibility of security staff. The in­
dicators of insufficient security staffing cited most frequently were confusion and
congestion in the service delivery area (48 percent) and medicines found during
housing unit shakedowns (44 percent).
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Table 8. Health Service Staff’s Expectations of Security Staff
Security Staff Responsibility/Duty
Report any unusual change in a patient’s physical condition
Report to medical staff all incidents relating to a patient’s medical issues

Agree (%)
100.0
68.6

Participate in patient treatment team meetings

48.6

Schedule and produce patients for all medical appointments and related activities

48.6

Escort patients to medical services

94.3

Manage patients according to protocols as directed by medical staff

57.1

Ensure security during medical service delivery inside housing units

97.1

Ensure security during medical service delivery outside housing units

97.1

Observe prisoners who need special observation according to medical
staff instructions and record observations as required

82.9

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Appropriate Security Staffing for
Medical Service Delivery.

Table 9. Indicators of Insufficient Security Staffing for Medical Service
Requirements
Indicator

Agree (%)

Confusion and congestion in the service delivery area/clinic

48

Poor state of cleanliness in medical housing units

12

Prisoners consistently late for medical appointments at the clinic

24

Security slow to respond to incident(s) with patients in the treatment area

36

Security slow to respond to incident(s) with patients in the housing units

32

Medicines found during shakedowns of housing units

44

Numerous medical staff complaints/grievances regarding the lack of safety

28

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Appropriate Security Staffing for
Medical Service Delivery.

All of the medical service respondents (100 percent) said that they inform security
staffing administrators when they observe conditions indicating insufficient secu­
rity staffing. Although 71 percent of the agencies reported conducting periodic re­
views of security staffing levels in medical units or service areas, medical service
staff participated in these reviews in only 31 percent of the agencies. In contrast,
in about half of the agencies, medical staff participated in the initial process for
determining the number, types, and roles of security staff in medical services.
Only 40 percent of the agencies had a specific method for determining the number
of security staff needed to support medical/health service functions.4
Decisionmaking in Establishing a Security Post in a Medical Unit
To ascertain what factors play a significant role in security post planning, the
agencies were asked to rate factors related to the characteristics of the inmate pa­
tient population, physical plant characteristics and technologies, points of service
and access to service, and staff and safety. Medical staff rated each factor on a
scale of 0 to 5, where 0 is “not important” and 5 is “of utmost importance.”
4

In Staffing Analysis for Women’s Prisons and Special Prison Populations (Longmont, CO: U.S. Department of
Justice, National Institute of Corrections Information Center, 2002), Harding reported that 69 percent of the cor­
rectional agencies used the same staffing analysis method for medical units as for male general population units.

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Characteristics of the Inmate Patient Population
Like security staffing administrators (see table 4), medical professionals (table 10)
rated custody level as the inmate patient characteristic most important in posting
decisions (security staff, 4.6; medical professionals, 4.2). Medical staff assigned a
lower rating (2.6) to gender than did security staff (2.9). When asked if the num­
ber of security staff varied according to the profile of the population on a given
day, 56 percent of the medical staff responded yes. This suggests that the inmate
profile—level of custody (i.e., maximum, medium, and/or minimum custody pris­
oners) and whether an escort is required for the prisoner to come to the unit—as
well as the number of hours per day the unit is open are key factors in determining
security staffing levels for medical services.
Physical Plant Characteristics and Technologies
The physical plant characteristics and technologies that were most important to
medical staff in posting decisions were the type of housing for the medical unit
(i.e., single or double cells, multioccupancy rooms, or dormitories) (4.2); the pres­
ence of observation cells (3.9); and the presence of video surveillance for some or
all of the cells in the unit (3.7) (table 10).
Points of Service and Access to Services
The factors associated with points of service and the inmates’ access to services
were of greater importance to medical staff than factors related to physical plant
and technology. The most important factors were whether the medical clinic/
infirmary was open around the clock (4.4) and whether it was open during the
day (4.3), whether inmates were escorted to appointments or treatments (4.1), and
whether the medical staff had to go to a common area or housing unit to provide
services (3.8) (table 10).
Staff and Safety
The final set of factors influencing security staff posting decisions was associated
with staff and safety. Medical staff valued specialized training for security staff
(3.9) and medical workers (3.8) and security staff’s availability for supervising
specific tasks (e.g., pill lines, examinations, and therapy) (4.2) (table 10). Medical
staff from 78 percent of the agencies reported that security staff received special
training for working in health services units. However, less than 5 percent of the
agencies exempted specially trained staff from the facility rotation schedule.
Externally Imposed Staffing Requirements for Medical Units
Less than 12 percent of the agencies reported that they were operating under a
consent decree, court order, and/or memorandum of agreement with regard to
their medical services and staffing patterns and levels. These cases focused on the
number and type of medical professionals available, quality assurance associated
with specific chronic diseases and disabilities, staffing ratios, the availability of

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Table 10. Importance of Security Posting Factors Among Medical Professionals
Security Posting Factor

Average Rating*

Characteristics of the inmate patient population
Gender

2.6

Patients who have conditions that require assistance in moving

2.9

Patients who require medications at regular intervals of time

2.9

Patients who require escort in the unit (e.g., to bathroom)

3.0

Custody level (i.e., maximum/medium/minimum)

4.2

Physical plant characteristics and technologies
Body or other alarms for all staff involved

3.0

Intercom for communication between staff and prisoners

3.0

Equipment/space for administering medications

3.2

One-to-one examining rooms in housing units

3.2

Video surveillance for some or all cells in the unit

3.7

Special observation cells

3.9

Medical housing: single or double cells, multioccupancy rooms, or dormitories

4.2

Points of service and access to services
Medical treatment provided in medical spaces in housing unit(s)

3.1

Medications administered in the clinic

3.3

Separate, dedicated medical treatment housing unit where services are delivered

3.4

Triage/sick call conducted in the housing unit or outside the unit

3.5

Patients go unescorted to medical clinics and treatment programs

3.5

Departmental medical services are available in other institutions to which prisoners can be
transferred if they require additional services

3.7

Specially configured and equipped medical residential units for delivery of many medical services

3.7

Medications administered at a common location in or near housing units

3.8

Patients escorted/transported by security staff to the facility’s onsite clinic(s) for appointments and
treatment

4.1

Medical offices/clinics located in the facility open during the day

4.3

Medical clinic/infirmary open 24 hours per day

4.4

Staff and safety
Security staff who work in medical areas are specially trained to work with chronically ill patients

3.9

Medical workers are trained in security to enhance their ability to function safely in a prison
environment

3.8

Number of professional staff dedicated to the unit

3.5

Time and schedule of when prisoners are out of their cells/rooms but in the unit

3.4

Time and schedule of when prisoners are outside the housing unit

3.7

Special duties such as security supervision of pill lines, examinations, and therapy

4.2

*

Respondents were asked to rate on a scale of 0 to 5 the factors’ influence on their decision to place a post: 0 = not important; 1 = of very little importance;
2 = of some importance; 3 = moderately important; 4 = significantly important; and 5 = of utmost importance.
Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Appropriate Security Staffing for Medical Service Delivery.

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specialized equipment, and access to specialists.5 About one-quarter of the agencies
reported having labored under a previous consent decree, court order, and/or mem­
orandum of agreement that controlled staffing patterns and/or levels in medical
units. As was observed in the inventory of security staffing in general population
units, labor agreements affected security staffing levels in medical units in only
about 25 percent of the agencies (table 11).
Table 11. Influence of Labor Agreements in Determining Staffing Levels for
Correctional Medical Units
Affects Staffing Levels (%)
Type of Staff

Yes

No

Correctional officers

25.7

74.3
79.4

Correctional supervisors

20.6

Program staff

14.7

85.3

Professional staff

12.1

87.9

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Appropriate Security Staffing for
Medical Service Delivery.

Standards set by professional monitoring and accreditation agencies constitute
another external factor that significantly affects the delivery of health services in
correctional facilities. Of the responding agencies, 88.6 percent cited this factor
as influential. Inventory respondents identified the standards set by the following
entities as influencing their staffing decisions: ACA (66 percent), NCCHC (34
percent), JCAH (6 percent), state agencies (3 percent), and National Institute of
Corrections Health Care (NICHC) (3 percent). In addition to these professional
standards, 56 percent of the agencies had written policies and procedures govern­
ing staffing practices in medical units.

Findings of the National Inventory on Appropriate
Security Staffing for Mental Health Service Delivery
Administrative Structure
As with the delivery of medical services in correctional systems, the format for
delivery of mental health services varied substantially by agency and, in many
systems, by facility (table 12). About half of the agencies provide their own men­
tal health services rather than contract with a private vendor for all services, some
services, or services within specific facilities. To oversee these complex systems,
most of the responding agencies (85 percent) had an administrator at the agency
level responsible for managing the delivery of services and/or monitoring any
contracts with private vendors.

5

Current medical staffing-related cases included Everett Hadix et al. v. Perry Johnson et al., No. 80-73581
(E.D. Mich.), Hines Consent Decrees/Stampley Agreement (MN) (RE: APPOINTMENT OF TRUSTEE FOR
GREGORY STAMPLEY, DEC vs. SFE, (Wrongful Death, Washington County-Stillwater, MN, 4/22/1996, Case
No. 82-C1-94-002846).

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Table 12. Mental Health Service Delivery Systems Among Correctional
Agencies
Provider of Service (%)
Mental Health Service Delivery Component

DOC

Contract

DOC and
Contract

Mental health services are offered in
varying levels of care, all of which may not
be accessible at every facility.

47.1

20.6

32.4

All facilities offer some access to mental
health services.

56.3

18.8

25.0

DOC operates some facilities exclusively as
mental health facilities.

55.6

33.3

11.1

Services in a facility are, in some instances,
provided in separate residential mental
health unit(s).

52.9

23.5

23.5

Services provided by agencies, facilities, and
entities outside the DOC are delivered to or
accessed by prisoners.

39.1

47.8

13.0

Step-down programs are offered as patients
need less intensive services.

70.4

14.8

14.8

DOC = Department of Corrections
Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Appropriate Security Staffing for
Mental Health Service Delivery.

Mental Health Service Delivery and Security Staff Roles
In the majority of responding agencies (91 percent), mental health staff did not
screen security staff for their suitability to work with mentally ill prisoners. How­
ever, in most of these agencies (88 percent), mental health staff provided training
for security staff assigned to work with mentally ill inmates. This training was
incorporated in both preservice training at the academy and inservice training.
Training topics included recognition of mental illness and depression, crisis inter­
vention, suicide prevention and intervention, and the like.
As shown in table 13 (page 168), mental health staff expected security staff to
play a variety of roles and carry out multiple responsibilities. Respondents unani­
mously agreed that security staff were responsible for reporting unusual changes
in an inmate’s mental condition (100 percent), and nearly all agreed that security
staff were responsible for reporting any incidents to mental health staff (86.1 per­
cent) and escorting inmates to medical and mental health services (91.7 percent).
The majority of mental health respondents expected security staff to participate in
treatment meetings (86.1 percent) and manage inmates according to protocols as
directed by medical staff (75.0 percent). Fifty-six percent expected security staff
to schedule and ensure inmates’ timely arrival for mental health appointments and
related activities.
When asked to cite indicators of insufficient levels of security staff in a mental
health unit, mental health respondents identified numerous complaints and griev­
ances by mental health staff about lack of safety (40.0 percent) and the discovery
of medications in the housing units during shakedowns (43.3 percent) (table 14).

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Table 13. Expectations for Security Staff Within Mental Health Units
Security Staff Responsibility/Duty
Reporting any unusual change in a patient’s mental condition.

Agree (%)
100.0

Reporting to medical staff all incidents relating to a patient’s
mental health issues.

86.1

Participating in patient treatment team meetings.

86.1

Scheduling and producing patients for all mental health
appointments and related activities.

55.6

Escorting patients to medical and mental health services.

91.7

Managing patients according to protocols as directed by
medical health staff.

75.0

Ensuring security during delivery of mental health services
inside housing units.

97.2

Ensuring security during delivery of mental health services
outside housing units.

88.9

Observing prisoners who need special observation according
to instructions of mental health staff and recording
observations as required.

94.4

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Appropriate Security Staffing for
Mental Health Service Delivery.

Another important indicator of the need for additional security staff was a slow
response time to incidents in the housing units and treatment areas (36.7 percent).
In contrast to the respondents to the medical inventory, 100 percent of whom
indicated they always report experiences of insufficient security staff to security
staff authorities, only 93 percent of the mental health respondents indicated that
they routinely reported staffing shortages. Less than half of the mental health re­
spondents (45.2 percent) indicated that security personnel routinely solicited their
input about staffing needs in mental health service delivery areas.
Table 14. Conditions Mental Health Administrators View as Indicators of
Insufficient Security Staffing for Mental Health Service Delivery
Requirements
Condition

Indicator of
Insufficient Staffing (%)

Service delivery area/clinic is confusing and congested.

33.3

Housing units are in a poor state of cleanliness.

23.3

Prisoners are consistently late for mental health appointments
at the clinic.

33.3

Security is slow to respond to incident(s) involving patients
in the treatment area.

36.7

Security is slow to respond to incident(s) involving patients
in the housing units.


36.7

Medicines are found during shakedowns of housing units. 


43.3

Mental health staff’s complaints/grievances regarding
the lack of safety are numerous.


40.0

Security staff frequently use force in mental health 

housing areas.

26.7

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Appropriate Security Staffing for
Mental Health Service Delivery.

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As observed in the responses from medical services units, less than half of the
correctional agencies (43.8 percent) had a specific method for determining the
number of security staff to support mental health functions. Most agencies did
have a formal procedure to determine the number, types, and roles of security
staffing (75 percent); yet only 47 percent of mental health staff reported partici­
pating in this process. Similarly, most of the responding agencies (72 percent) had
formal procedures for periodically reviewing the security staffing needs of mental
health units and service areas. However, mental health staff participated in these
reviews in slightly more than one-quarter of the agencies (28.1 percent).
Decisionmaking in Establishing a Security Post in a Mental
Health Unit
To ascertain what factors mental health professionals consider to be important in
determining security staffing needs, the inventory asked them to rate the follow­
ing factors: the characteristics of the inmate patient population, physical plant
characteristics and technologies, points of service and access to services, and staff
and safety. The rating scale was the same used in the inventory of medical staffing
administrators, where 0 is “not important” and 5 is “of utmost importance.”
Characteristics of the Inmate Patient Population
Like the security staffing administrators and medical professionals who responded
to the survey, the mental health professionals considered the custody level of
inmate patients to be very important in determining security staffing needs, giving
this factor an average rating of 4.4 (table 15, page 170). However, they considered
the presence of inmates who pose a threat to themselves or others to be the most
important security factor, with a rating of 4.5. Another important population
characteristic was the presence of inmates with histories of disruptive behavior or
psychotic episodes (4.1). As observed in the responses of security staff and medi­
cal administrators, mental health respondents considered the gender of the inmate
population to be of small to moderate importance (2.5).
Physical Plant Characteristics and Technologies
Among mental health professionals, the presence of special observation cells was
the most important security factor related to the physical plant characteristics and
technology of the unit or mental health service delivery area (4.2). They consid­
ered the presence of equipment/space to administer medications (3.5), video sur­
veillance (3.6), and treatment/activity rooms in the units (3.7) to be of moderate
importance in determining security staffing needs.
Points of Service and Access to Services
As was the case with the inventory of medical professionals, the hours of service
in the unit and whether security staff were required to escort inmates to treatment
and appointments were the factors of greatest importance to mental health profes­
sionals in determining security staffing needs, both receiving an average rank of

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Table 15. Importance of Security Posting Factors Among Mental Health Professionals
Security Posting Factor

Average Rating*

Characteristics of the inmate patient population
Gender

2.5

Patients who require medications at regular intervals of time

3.0

Patients who require escort in the unit (e.g., to bathroom)

3.4

Patients who have histories of disruptive or psychotic episodes

4.1

Custody level (i.e., maximum/medium/minimum)

4.4

Patients who are a threat to themselves (i.e., suicidal) or others

4.5

Physical plant characteristics and technologies

Intercom for communication between staff and prisoners

2.6

Body or other alarms for all staff involved

3.1

Equipment/space for administering medications

3.5

Video surveillance for some or all cells in the unit

3.6

Treatment/activity rooms in the housing units

3.7

Special observation cells

4.2

Mental health points of service and access to services
Entire facility is a mental health facility

2.7

Patients go unescorted to mental health clinics and treatment programs

3.2

Departmental mental health services are available in other facilities to which prisoners can be trans­
ferred if they require additional services

3.3

Medications are administered in the clinic

3.3

Medications are administered from a common location in/near housing units

3.5

Mental health staff provide treatment in offices/rooms in housing unit(s)

3.6

Mental health staff triage prisoners with complaints in housing units

3.6

Separate, dedicated mental health treatment housing unit where services are delivered

3.7

Specially configured and equipped mental health residential units for delivering most mental health
services

3.8

Mental health offices/clinics in the facility are open during the day

4.0

Medical clinic/infirmary is open 24 hours per day

4.0

Patients are escorted/transported by security staff to the facility’s onsite clinic(s) for appointments and
treatment

4.0

Staff and safety
Time and schedule of when prisoners are out of their cells/rooms but in the unit

3.5

Whether security staff who work in the mental health areas are specially trained to work with
mentally ill patients

3.8

Whether mental health workers are trained in security to enhance their ability to function safely in a
prison environment

3.8

Number of professional staff dedicated to the unit

3.8

Time and schedule of when prisoners are outside the housing unit

3.8

Special duties such as security supervision of pill lines, examinations, therapy

3.9

*

Respondents were asked to rate on a scale of 0 to 5 the factors’ influence on their decision to place a post: 0 = not important; 1 = of very little importance;
2 = of some importance; 3 = moderately important; 4 = significantly important; and 5 = of utmost importance.
Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Appropriate Security Staffing for Mental Health Service Delivery.

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4.0. Factors rated of moderate to significant importance included whether mental
health professionals provide treatment (3.6) or triage inmates with complaints in
housing units (3.6), whether the unit is a dedicated mental health residential unit
(3.7), and whether that residential unit is specially configured and equipped for
delivering most mental health services (3.8).
Staff and Safety
Mental health respondents gave all of the staff and safety factors ratings of moder­
ate to significant importance. The presence of security staff to supervise pill lines,
examinations, and/or therapy received the highest rating (3.9). As had been indi­
cated by the medical professionals, special training for security staff working with
mentally ill inmates, safety training for mental health workers, and the time and
schedule for prisoners to be outside the housing unit were considered important
factors (3.8). Mental health professionals also cited the number of professional
staff dedicated to the unit as an influential factor in determining security staffing
needs (3.8).
Given these ratings, it is interesting to note that 81 percent of the mental health re­
spondents reported that security staff working in mental health units in their agen­
cies received specialized training to work with mentally ill prisoners. However,
in most agencies (89 percent), assignment to a mental health unit did not exempt
these specially trained officers from the facility’s rotation schedule.
Externally Imposed Staffing Requirements for
Mental Health Units
Relatively few of the correctional agencies (14.7 percent) that responded to the
mental health inventory were operating under a consent decree, court order, and/
or memorandum of agreement with regard to mental health unit functions/services
and staffing patterns/levels.6 However, in nearly 40 percent of the agencies (37.5
percent), there was a previous consent decree, court order, and/or memorandum of
agreement that controlled staffing patterns and/or levels in mental health units.
In contrast to what was reported for general population and medical services units,
labor agreements had an impact on security staffing levels in mental health units
in only about 15 percent of the agencies (table 16, page 172). Staffing decisions
about correctional supervisors, program staff, and professional staff were affected
by labor agreements in even fewer agencies (9.1 percent, 3 percent, and 3 percent,
respectively).

6
Current consent decrees/memoranda of agreement included Hines Consent Decree and Stampley Agreement,
D.M. Terhune, 67 F. Supp. 2d. 401 (D.N.J., 1999), and NY State Office of Mental Health and NY State Depart­
ment of Correctional Services Memorandum of Understanding (July 21, 1999). Previous court cases/agreements
related to mental health included Casey v. Lewis, 834 F. Supp. 1553 (D. Ariz. 1992); Ramos v. Lamm, 639 F.2d
559, 575 (10th Cir. 1980), 450 U.S. 1041, 99 S.Ct. 1861 (1981); Costello v. Wainwright, 430 U.S. 325 (1977);
U.S.A. v. State of Michigan, No. G84/63CA; Everett Hadix et al. v. Perry Johnson et al., No. 80-73581 (E.D.
Mich.); NY State Office of Mental Health Memorandum of Understanding (expired agreements); Dunn v.
Voinovich, C1-93-0166 (S.D. Ohio, July 10, 1995); and Tillery v. Owens, 719 F.Supp. 1256 (w.d. Pa. 1989).

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APPENDIX A

Table 16. Influence of Labor Agreements on Security Staffing for
Mental Health Units
Type of Staff
Correctional officers

Affects Staffing Level (%)
14.7

Correctional supervisors

9.1

Program staff

3.0

Professional staff

3.0

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Appropriate Security Staffing for
Mental Health Service Delivery.

Like the inventory respondents representing general population and medical units,
the respondents to the mental health inventory reported that standards set by
professional agencies influenced their decisions. Most (91 percent) indicated that
their agencies followed mental health standards set by ACA (59 percent), NCCHC
(35 percent), JCAH (12 percent), state agencies (15 percent), and the American
Group Psychotherapy Association (3 percent). About one-third of the agencies
(29 percent) reported that they follow multiple sets of professional standards. In
addition to these professional standards, 41 percent had written policies and pro­
cedures governing staffing practices in mental health units.

Findings of the National Inventory on Staffing for
Women’s Correctional Institutions
Administrative Structure
The final questionnaire of the national inventory of security staffing practices in
prisons was to be completed by the person most knowledgeable about staffing
practices in women’s facilities. Women represent a small proportion of the states’
inmate population. However, given the unique needs—physiological, psychologi­
cal, and emotional—of female offenders, it was somewhat surprising to learn that
about 20 percent of the responding correctional agencies did not have a position
at the agency level dedicated to the management of women’s facilities, services,
and programs. Almost all (91.7 percent) of the agencies that completed the inven­
tory had at least one facility exclusively for women. However, 40 percent of the
agencies reported having one or more coed facilities. Most agencies (97.2 percent)
permitted cross-gender supervision of women. The percentage of male staff in
women’s facilities ranged from 2 to 79 percent; the percentage of male staff su­
pervising women was 45 percent.
Staffing Analysis for Women’s Facilities
The inventory asked a series of questions about the process the agency used to de­
termine security staffing needs in its facilities. Nearly all the responding agencies
(91.4 percent) had a departmental staffing analysis process (table 17), but only a

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Table 17. Security Staffing Process in Women’s Correctional Facilities
Question

Agencies Responding Yes (%)

Is there a departmentwide staffing analysis process used in your agency?

91.4

If yes, is there a periodic review of the security post plans designed specifically for women’s
facilities and different from the review conducted for male facilities?

11.8

Are female-specific method(s) used to determine the number of security staff required to
support women’s facilities?

16.7

Are female-specific criteria used for establishing, adding, and/or deleting posts in women’s
facilities?

20.0

Is a particular position/person tasked with conducting staffing processes specifically
designed for women’s facilities?

5.7

Is there a security position/person who makes decisions to establish, add, and/or delete
security posts and positions based on special needs of women offenders?

20.0

Is there a medical position/person who makes decisions to establish, add, and/or delete
medical posts and positions based on special needs of women offenders?

34.3

Is there a mental health position/person who makes decisions to establish, add, and/or
delete mental health posts and positions based on special needs of women offenders?

34.3

Is there a program position/person who makes decisions to establish, add, and/or delete
program posts and positions based on special needs of women offenders?

28.6

Is there a process by which disciplines collaborate to determine numbers and types of staff
required for women’s housing, programming, medical, and mental health services?

51.4

Is a shift relief factor specific to women’s facilities used to calculate the number of positions
needed for women offenders?

13.9

Are there special policy provisions for cross-gender staffing/posting?

59.4

Is there a required ratio of officers to women offenders?

17.1

Are staffing levels higher when most of the security staff are women?
Are staffing levels higher when most of the security staff are male?

5.9
11.8

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions.

small percentage had a specific method for determining the number of security
staff for women’s facilities (16.7 percent) or used women-specific criteria for
establishing, adding, and/or deleting posts in women’s facilities (20 percent). Half
of the agencies used a collaborative process in which multiple disciplines deter­
mined the number and types of staff required for women’s housing, programming,
and medical and mental health services.
Although the majority of the agencies (59.4 percent) had special provisions in
their policies for cross-gender staffing and/or posts, less than 20 percent had re­
quirements that specified the ratio of male officers to female inmates. Most agen­
cies (90 percent) indicated that the ratio of male to female correctional officers
had no impact on staffing levels. Only 6 percent of the agencies said that staffing
levels in women’s facilities were higher if most of the security staff were female.
In contrast, 12 percent indicated that if most of the security staff in a women’s
facility were male, staffing levels were higher.

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APPENDIX A

Role of Special Needs and Cross-Gender Supervision When
Staffing Women’s Facilities
The inventory asked respondents to consider a list of common needs of female
inmates and indicate if, in their experience, these factors affected the need for
security, medical, mental health, and/or program staff in a correctional facility for
women. Respondents were unanimous in the opinion that women who have expe­
rienced physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse suffer from trauma, depression,
anxiety, and other mental health disorders (100 percent) (table 18). They agreed
that pregnant women require prenatal care (100 percent), that women offenders
require more staff time and attention than male offenders (97.2 percent), and that
women require more social services associated with child care, family contacts,
etc. (97.2 percent).
Table 18. Views on the Special Needs of Female Inmates and Whether These Needs Affect Staffing Levels
Type of Additional Staff Needed in Women’s
Institutions Due to Special Needs (%)
Security

Medical

Mental
Health

Program

100.0

19.4

66.7

22.2

22.2

97.2

22.2

66.7

72.2

50.0

100.0

19.4

47.2

83.3

58.3

Women have needs that require more social work services than men
(e.g., family contacts, childcare).

97.2

13.9

11.1

22.2

58.3

Women have more and different needs for hygiene and grooming
space and equipment than men.

94.4

25.0

2.8

2.8

16.7

Women require more trips to special medical clinics than men.

91.7

47.2

58.3

11.1

2.8

Women require special programs in parenting, battering and abuse,
legal recourse, etc.

88.9

8.3

8.3

27.8

66.7

Women have higher rates of somatic illnesses than men.

86.1

13.9

55.6

36.1

16.7

Pregnant women need transport procedures different from those for men.

86.1

41.7

25.0

5.6

2.8

Women require more use of medications than men.

83.3

5.6

66.7

33.3

8.3

Some pregnant women require 24-hour nursing services before delivery.

83.3

25.0

55.6

13.9

2.8

Women need to visit with their children more often and/or for
longer periods.

80.6

36.1

5.6

19.4

36.1

Women have more venereal and pelvic disorders than men.

77.8

2.8

61.1

8.3

8.3

Women are frequently not separated by classification. Women require
separate housing units according to security risks and needs.

72.2

25.0

41.7

47.2

30.6

Women’s medical issues require medical coverage 24 hours per day.

69.4

22.2

44.4

19.4

5.6

Some women want their children to visit and/or live in their housing units.

69.4

25.0

16.7

13.9

22.2

Women need to have their babies with them after delivery.

55.6

22.2

16.7

5.6

13.9

Women are more likely than men to have serious substance abuse issues
and to require more intensive treatment.

50.0

5.6

11.1

13.9

27.8

More women than men prefer private living quarters.

44.4

13.9

0.0

0.0

0.0

Pregnant women need special quarters and accommodations during
the latter part of pregnancy.

38.9

22.2

30.6

11.1

8.3

Statement Regarding Special Need
Pregnant women need prenatal care.
Most women require more time and attention from staff than men.
Physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abused women frequently
suffer from more trauma, depression, anxiety, and other mental
health disorders that require special treatment.

Agree (%)

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions.

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The only special needs identified as affecting security staffing levels in women’s
units or facilities were those associated with transporting women to special clinics
or to hospitals for treatment. However, many of female inmates’ special needs
were seen as having a substantial impact on staffing levels for medical, mental
health, and program staff. The respondents indicated that medical staffing levels
were affected by women’s need for prenatal care (66.7 percent), greater staff time
and attention (66.7 percent), trips to special medical clinics (58.3 percent), treat­
ment for somatic illnesses (55.6 percent), 24-hour nursing services before delivery
(55.6 percent), and treatment for venereal and pelvic disorders (61.1 percent).
Mental health staffing levels were seen to be affected by women’s needs associ­
ated with trauma and abuse (83.3 percent) and their overall need for greater staff
time and attention (72.2 percent). Program staffing levels were also perceived to
be affected by women’s needs associated with trauma and abuse (58.3 percent)
and their overall need for greater staff time and attention (50.0 percent), and also
by their needs for social services associated with child care and family contacts
(58.3 percent) and for special programs on parenting, battering and abuse, and
legal recourse (66.7 percent).
Cross-gender supervision is an important consideration in staffing women’s facili­
ties. Respondents were asked to review factors that might affect staffing policies,
to agree or disagree that they were issues, and to indicate if a factor warranted
special personality screening for prospective male officers, special training for
them, and/or same-gender post designations in a women’s facility. As shown in
table 19 (page 176), most respondents agreed with the following statements:
■

Women’s needs and behavior differ significantly from those of males
(94.4 percent).

■

Women prefer to be pat-searched by staff of the same gender (88.9 percent).

■

Women behave differently toward male staff (83.3 percent).

■

Women require less aggressive supervision (80.6 percent) than do men.

■

Women are afraid that men will physically and emotionally abuse them
(80.6 percent).

■

Many women need positive male role models (80.6 percent).

However, for most respondents, these factors did not warrant screening male
candidates by gender, personality, or attitude before hiring or assigning them to
work with female inmates. They indicated, however, that cross-gender factors do
warrant special training for staff, notably with regard to women’s general needs
and institutional behaviors, search requirements for women, effective communica­
tion with women, women’s need for trust, and women’s need for positive male
role models.

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Table 19. Cross-Gender Supervision Needs for Women Offenders
Accommodation Warranted by Factor (%)

Cross-Gender Supervision Factor

Agree (%)

Screening for
Personality
Characteristics

Special
Training
for Staff

Same
Sex Staff

Generally, women’s needs and behavior differ significantly
from those of men.

94.4

36.1

86.1

16.7

Generally, women have more need not to be touched by the
opposite sex in vulnerable areas than do men. They prefer to
be pat-searched by staff of the same sex.

88.9

8.3

61.1

61.1

Generally, there are topics that women prefer not to discuss
with men.

88.9

11.1

63.9

36.1

Women behave differently and sometimes sexually forward
toward male staff.

83.3

30.6

80.6

2.8

Women need and require less aggressive (nonaggressive)
supervision than men.

80.6

5.6

55.6

2.8

Women are afraid of being physically and emotionally
abused by men.

80.6

27.8

61.1

11.1

Because of a history of prostitution, many women offenders
desperately need positive male role models.

80.6

16.7

66.7

2.8

Generally, women offenders have higher needs for female
nurturing than men.

77.8

5.6

41.7

13.9

Generally, women have a greater need not to be seen by the
opposite sex in vulnerable situations than do men.

58.3

5.6

41.7

27.8

Hospitalized women are uncomfortable with male officers
supervising them.

44.4

2.8

30.6

22.2

Because there is a correctional history of women offenders
having been sexually abused by male staff, women are afraid
of male staff.

22.2

11.1

41.7

2.8

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions.

Security Staffing in Women’s Facilities: Roles, Expectations, and
Levels
The roles and expectations for security staff in women’s facilities are varied. Re­
spondents were asked what duties, if any, increase the need for additional security
staff in women’s facilities. The duties cited were related to the special behavioral
and emotional needs of women offenders rather than traditional “security-related”
issues. Three of the four most frequently cited roles/responsibilities that might
increase staffing needs were monitoring women’s health, pregnancy, or mental
stability (61.1 percent), listening to their complaints and problems (58.3 percent),
and counseling those who are upset and/or out of control (52.8 percent) (table 20).
Traditional security-related tasks, such as escorting, searching, and supervising
the women, were not cited as having a substantial impact on staffing levels.
The next series of questions focused on indicators of insufficient or genderinappropriate security staffing in a women’s unit/facility. As shown in table 21,
there appeared to be some consensus that documented complaints from medical,
mental health, or program staff or an increase in the number of fights among

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Table 20. Responsibilities/Duties That Potentially Increase Staffing Levels in Women’s Facilities
Agencies
Responding
Yes (%)

Responsibility/Duty
Closely monitoring mentally ill, chronically ill, and pregnant prisoners and documenting changes as directed.

61.1

Spending extra time listening to prisoners’ problems and complaints.

58.3

Calling and waiting for female officers to perform strip and/or pat searches of women prisoners.

55.6

Counseling prisoners who are out of control for longer periods of time than would be allowed for males.

52.8

Spending more time dressing out and transporting prisoners to appointments.

44.4

Reporting and/or documenting any unusual/significant change in an inmate’s emotional condition.

41.7

Observing pregnant women according to medical staff instructions and documenting observations as required.

41.7

Supervising housing units in which children are present.

41.7

Opening special grooming facilities and supervising them during more hours of the day than in male facilities.

36.1

Spending more time supervising the cleaning and monitoring of property than in male facilities.

22.2

Distributing female-specific supplies.

19.4

Using force with female prisoners according to special female-specific protocols.

13.9

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions.

inmates were important indicators of insufficient security staffing levels. However,
there was little consensus about indicators of problematic male-to-female staff
ratios. The only potential indicator of gender-inappropriate security staffing cited
by respondents was the reporting of sexual misconduct between staff and inmates;
even so, only 27.8 percent of the respondents agreed that sexual misconduct was
such an indicator. Additional research in this area appears to be needed to guide
staffing deliberations.

Table 21. Conditions Administrators View as Indicators of Insufficient or Gender-Inappropriate
Security Staffing
Agencies Responding Yes (%)
Insufficient

Gender
Inappropriate

Documented concerns about quality of supervision by medical staff

58.3

2.8

Increase in the number of fights among the prisoners

55.6

0.0

Documented concerns about quality of supervision by mental health staff

55.6

2.8

Documented concerns about quality of supervision by program staff

50.0

0.0

Lack of cleanliness in the housing unit

44.4

0.0

Observable bruises and marks on prisoners

44.4

13.9

Reports of sexual misconduct between staff and prisoners

36.1

27.8

Grievances against staff for abusive behavior

30.6

19.4

Dramatic increase in sick call

27.8

11.1

5.6

13.9

Indicator

Complaints by pregnant prisoners

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions.

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APPENDIX A

Externally Imposed Staffing Requirements for Women’s Facilities
Less than 10 percent of the agencies (8.3 percent) reported that they were operat­
ing under a consent decree, court order, and/or memorandum of agreement with
regard to their women’s facilities’ staffing patterns and/or levels. These cases
focused on staffing levels for mental health professionals and cross-gender
supervision (availability of female correctional officers in women’s housing
units).7 Only about 15 percent of the agencies (14.3 percent) reported a previous
consent decree, court order, and/or memorandum of agreement that controlled
staffing patterns and/or levels in their women’s facilities. These cases focused in
part on crowding, availability of work/program space, and separation of inmates
by custody level.
As was observed in the inventories on the general population and medical and
mental health units, labor agreements affected security staffing levels for women’s
facilities in only about 11 percent of the responding agencies (table 22). Table 22
suggests that labor agreements play an even smaller role in determining staffing
levels for program and professional staff.
Table 22. Influence of Labor Agreements in Determining Staffing Levels for
Women’s Facilities
Affects Staffing Levels (%)
Type of Staff

Yes

No

Correctional officers

11.1

88.9

Program staff

5.7

94.3

Professional staff

5.9

94.1

Source: Data are from the National Institute of Corrections’ 2004 inventory on Staffing for Women’s Correc­
tional Institutions.

In contrast to the data reported for general population and medical and mental
health units, only two-thirds of the responding agencies adhered to ACA standards
regulating the management and care of female inmates. Only 27 percent of the
agencies had written policies and procedures that govern staffing practices for
women’s facilities. This figure may be somewhat misleading because respondents
also indicated that staffing practices for women’s facilities were governed by
the same policies and procedures governing male facilities. As previously noted,
about 75 percent of the agencies had written policies and procedures that govern
practices in their facilities.

7
The cases included West v. Manson, Civil No.: H-83-366 (RNC) (HBF) (ongoing enforcement work regard­
ing consent judgment at Connecticut’s women’s prison); D.M. Terhune, 67 F. Supp. 2d. 401 (D.N.J., 1999); and
Forts v. Ward, 79 Civ 1560 (SD N.Y.).

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INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

Best Practices in Prison Staffing Analysis Inventory
U. S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections
Please fax the completed inventory to Judy Bisbee at 860-704-6420, or send by mail to Criminal Justice
Institute, 213 Court Street, Suite 606, Middletown, CT 06457 by: Friday, January 9, 2004.
Inventory Completed By:
Name
_______________________________ Title ______________________________________
Agency ____________________________________________________________________________
Phone
_______________________________ Fax ______________________________________
Email
____________________________________________________________________________
Who should complete this inventory? The individual in charge of security staff deployment. If no one
individual is responsible for security staff deployment in your agency, please assign the task to the person
most knowledgeable about your agency’s staffing procedures and practices.
Purpose of the Security Staffing Inventory. The purpose of this inventory is to collect information from
state departments of corrections that will contribute significantly to the development of a National Institute
of Corrections manual for training staff to conduct prison security staffing analyses. Three other
inventories are also being distributed to collect information on the staffing needs in women’s prisons as
well as in facilities or units housing mentally ill and chronically ill inmates. This information will contribute
to recommendations on how to tailor post plans to meet the needs of special populations: women, mental
health patients and chronically ill patients. Best practices, policies and procedures among jurisdictions for
conducting staffing analyses as well as practices for developing specialized post plans for special
population units are requested for review and possible inclusion in the manual.
Definitions of Key Terms: Please see Page 8 for a glossary of terms.

MANAGING THE STAFFING COMPLEMENT
1. 	 Does your agency have a designated position responsible for the management of staffing?
___________ (Yes/No)
2. 	 Does your agency require a periodic analysis of security staffing levels?
___________ (Yes/No)
3. 	 How frequently does your agency conduct a staffing analysis for: (Please circle)
a. 	 Security staff
Annual
Every 2 years
As needed
Not Required
Other: ______
b. 	Non-security
Annual
Every 2 years
As needed
Not Required
Other: ______
c. P
	 rofessional
Annual
Every 2 years
As needed
Not Required
Other: ______
d. 	 What reasons might prompt an unscheduled staffing analysis (i.e. excessive overtime use)?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
4. 	 As part of your staffing analysis process, which of the following procedures are included? (Please
check all that apply)
a. 	 Re-calculation of a shift relief factor or NAWH based on leave policies
____
b. 	 Study of time and attendance to determine average use of leave
____
____
c.	 Review of the operation of posts on a shift-by-shift basis
d. 	 Formal add-and-delete procedure which includes justifications for modifications
and is reviewed by higher authorities
____

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APPENDIX A

e.	
f.	
g.	
h. 	
i. 	
j. 	
k. 	
l. 	
m.
n.
o.

Review of daily rosters
____
Review of the master roster
____
____
Re-calculation of required FTE
Review of existing scheduling patterns to determine the most economical
____
Review of procedures and practices for weekly and monthly assignments by shift
____
Review of the staffing complement by priority (i.e. critical, essential, optional)
____
Standardized report that summarizes the activities and decisions associated
with staffing
____
Generation of a written report to summarize the methodology, findings and
recommendations resulting from the staffing analysis
____
Other: ________________________________________________________________________
	Other: ________________________________________________________________________
O
	 ther: ________________________________________________________________________

5. 	 What formula does your agency use to calculate the number of FTE’s required for security staff?
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
6. 	 Are interim reviews of any of the components a staffing analysis completed between regularly
scheduled staffing analyses?
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
7. 	When computing the number of security FTE positions needed for your correctional system, does
your agency compute a shift relief factor? _______ (Yes/No)
If “Yes,” please answer the following: 

7a. Does your agency calculate a separate Shift Relief Factor for each security rank? ____ (Yes/No) 

7 b. If your agency does calculate a separate Shift Relief Factor for each security rank, please explain 

why: _________________________________________________________________________
7c. Do you use the same Shift Relief Factor calculation for all security staff? _______ (Yes/No)
7d. Do you calculate a separate Shift Relief Factor for each individual facility: _______ (Yes/No)
7 e. If your agency does calculate a separate Shift Relief Factor for each facility, please explain why:
________________________________________________________________________________
8. 	 Please place an “X” next to the types of leave that your agency includes in its calculation of the shift
relief factor to determine the total number of FTE’s needed for the correctional system.
Type of Leave
“X” All That Apply
Bereavement
Compensatory Time
Holiday
Injury on Duty
Leave - No Pay
Leave with Pay
Meal and Break
Military Leave

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Type of Leave
Personal
Sick
Training
Vacation
Other (Specify)
Other (Specify)
Other (Specify)
Other (Specify)

“X” All That Apply

INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

9. 	 When calculating the shift relief factor, are the following items considered?
Vacancy Rate
_______ (Yes/No)
Training Positions _______ (Yes/No)
10. Are your staffing procedures automated? 	 _______ (Yes/No)
10a. If “Yes,” which procedures are automated?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
11. Do you use any staffing procedures or practices that you think other jurisdictions might wish to
emulate?
_______ (Yes/No)
If “Yes,” please include with your description a copy of the procedure(s) and any forms or electronic
templates used.
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
12. What improvements to your current procedures would you like to recommend to your jurisdiction?
Why?
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
13. Is your agency currently operating with a full staffing complement? _______ (Yes/No)
13a. If “No,” why? (Budget constraints, vacancies, error in shift relief factor calculation)
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
13b. What staffing practices have you employed to deal with this issue?
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

DECISION-MAKING ABOUT ESTABLISHING A SECURITY POST
14. From the list below, please check the factors that are considered when establishing or deleting a
post. For those items checked, please rank their importance in the space provided.
0 – Not considered on the decision to place a post or a job. 

1 – Very little influence on the decision to place a post or a job. 

2 – Small amount of influence on the decision to place a post or a job. 

3 – Moderate amount of influence on the decision to place a post or a job. 

4 – Significant influence on the decision to place a post or a job. 

5 – Utmost influence on the decision to place a post or a job. 

POSTING FACTORS
e.g. Physical design/configuration (pod, cell block, dormitory)of a housing unit

Importance
5

PHYSICAL FACTORS
Physical design/configuration (pod, cell block, dormitory) of a housing unit
Presence of video surveillance for some or all cells in the unit

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APPENDIX A

POSTING FACTORS
PHYSICAL FACTORS
Presence of intercom system for communication between staff and inmates
Type of housing (single or double cells, multi-occupancy rooms, dorms)
Capacity and configuration of day room space
Sight lines of unit or area – ability to observe all cell-fronts, functional space and
dayroom movement
Method of locking and unlocking cells – electronic vs. key
If and when cells/rooms are left open, or if the inmate has a key to the cell/room
Location of a control room that supports the unit (i.e. entry and exit, equipment access,
emergency back-up, counts, etc.)
Number and functionality of dedicated spaces inside the unit for professional program
functions.
Number of group work/activity rooms in the housing unit or other functional space
Presence of sick call/ examining room(s) in the housing unit
Presence interview/counseling rooms for 2 persons
Presence of a classroom
Presence of rooms/cells for constant observation of ill or unstable inmate(s)
Space for administering medication
Number of non-security professional staff who must be shared with other facility units
Presence of computer capability and space in the unit or other functional space
Presence of computer learning stations
Presence of alarm buttons in program/service spaces
Presence of recreation area accessible to and adjacent to the unit
Presence of recreation equipment on the unit
Presence of arts and crafts material/equipment/classroom
Showers in cells as opposed to group showers
Bathrooms in rooms as opposed to group showers
Efficiency of lighting
Other:
Other:
Other:
MANAGEMENT AND STAFF RELATED FACTORS
Need for security staff with special training
Cross Gender Staffing
Staffing stipulation(s) in labor contract
Number of professional staff dedicated to the unit (e.g., medical, mental health,
counseling)
Number and kind of non-security staff working in the unit (e.g., commissary, food, mail
workers, etc.)
Time periods professional/non-security staff work in the unit
Ratio of security staff to inmates
Staffing requirements negotiated with service providers
Commitments of certain types of staff for unit management
Input from mental health staff
Issues of concern about gender specific programming and services
Input from medical staff
Other:
Other:
Other:

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Importance

INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

ACTIVITY FACTORS
Number of inmates out of their cells/rooms at any one time
Time and schedule for inmates to be out of their cells/rooms but in the unit for
particular functions, programs and activities
Time and schedule for inmates to be outside the housing unit for particular
functions, programs and activities
Special duties such as security supervision of pill lines, treatments, examinations,
group therapy
Where the inmates eat (in or out of room, dedicated unit dining room, or general facility
dining room)
Other:
Other:
Other:
INMATE POPULATION FACTORS
Number of inmates being supervised
Gender of inmates
Direct supervision, indirect supervision, or a combination of both
Custody level of inmates (e.g., close vs. medium vs. minimum)
Presence of multiple custody levels (e.g., medium and close, medium and minimum)
Physical condition of the inmates assigned to the unit (i.e. mobility, conditions of
illness)
Mental state of the inmates assigned to the unit (i.e. psychotic, suicidal, special issues)
Special duty to constantly watch/observe acutely sick or unstable inmate(s)
Special duty to regularly escort inmates to mental health or medical offices
Special duty to escort and/or assist disabled inmates
Classification of inmates according to their personality types
Other:
Other:
Other:

ESTABLISHING POSTS IN RESPONSE TO SPECIALIZED POPULATIONS’ REQUIREMENTS
15. Does your security staff receive specialized training for working with:
Mentally ill inmates
_______ (Yes/No) # Hours Initially ____ # Hours Annual In-Service ____
Chronically ill inmates _______ (Yes/No) # Hours Initially ____ # Hours Annual In-Service ____
Female inmates
_______ (Yes/No) # Hours Initially ____ # Hours Annual In-Service ____
15a. Are these specially trained security staff exempt from the facility rotation schedule because of
their assignments in the units? _______ (Yes/No)
15b. Do the medical and mental health staff have their own master roster? _______ (Yes/No)

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APPENDIX A

RATIOS AND STANDARDS
16. For each job classification listed below, please enter any security staff ratio and the standard for each
ratio. If your agency does not have a specified inmate to security staff ratio for a specific type of
inmate, please write “None” in the Ratio column.
Type of Staff
Example: Correctional officers

Ratio

Standard set by

1 staff to 25

Court order

All Correctional staff
Correctional Officers (Housing Units)
Correctional Officers (Visitation)
Correctional Officers (Transportation)
Correctional Officers (Recreation)
Medical
Mental Health
Other (specify):
Other (specify):
17. Is your agency currently operating under a consent decree, court order, and/or memorandum of
agreement with regard to staffing patterns and/or levels?
_______ (Yes/No)
If “Yes,” please specify the citation for the court order or case: _______________________________
What are the staffing requirements of the court order or memorandum of agreement?
________________________________________________________________________________
18. Was there a previous consent decree, court order, and/or memorandum of agreement no longer in
force that controlled staffing patterns and/or levels? _______ (Yes/No)
If “Yes,” please specify the citation for the court order or case: _______________________________
What were the staffing requirements of the court order or memorandum of agreement?
________________________________________________________________________________
19. Are staffing levels impacted by labor agreements? 	If “Yes,” what are the requirements or
specifications of the agreement?
Correctional Officers _______ (Yes/No)
________________________________________________________________________________
Supervisors
_______ (Yes/No)
________________________________________________________________________________
Program Staff
_______ (Yes/No)
________________________________________________________________________________
Professional Staff
_______ (Yes/No)
________________________________________________________________________________
20. Does your agency follow standards set by a professional agency that monitors and accredits
compliance with standards (e.g., ACA, NCCHC, JCAH)? _______ (Yes/No)
If “Yes,” what is the name of the agency? _______________________________________________
Which standards apply? ____________________________________________________________
21. Does your agency have written policies and procedures that govern staffing practices? ____ (Yes/No)

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INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

Please send us copies of these policies and procedures and any other documents addressing staffing institutions.
Please include any forms, tables, and other documents that your agency uses to conduct a staffing analysis.
Please fax to Judy Bisbee at 860-704-6420, or send by mail to Judy Bisbee at the Criminal Justice Institute,
213 Court Street, Suite 606, Middletown, CT 06457.
Please send any electronic files to jbisbee@cji-inc.com.

Thank you for your time and assistance.

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185

APPENDIX A

Definitions of Key Terms:
Daily Roster: A daily shift assignments schedule (plan), by post, for all security personnel.
FTE: Full Time Equivalent position. A whole position required to fill one post at a given time or portions of posts
equivalent to given time.
Full Complement: The staffing condition whereby there are always enough available FTEs to operate all security
posts per the facility post plans without the use of overtime.
Master Roster: A deployment schedule prepared in advance on a monthly basis for each shift which lists all
approved posts and staff assigned according to approved staffing pattern(s).
NAWH: The number of hours staff are actually available to work, based on the contracted number of hours per year
(40 hours per workweek x 52.14 weeks per year = 2,086 hours) minus the average number of hours off per staff
person per year.
Non-Security Staff: All staff who are not uniformed security staff.
Post: an established staff function assigned to a particular area/service that is occupied (open) at prescribed time
periods and particular days according to a post plan.
Post Plan: A listing of all permanent posts in a facility by location or primary function, classification, shift, schedule,
and hours of operation.
Professional Staff: Staff who are specially educated and trained to provide specialized services to the inmate
population. Examples are medical staff, mental health staff, educational and vocational teaching staff, recreation
therapists etc.
Scheduling Pattern: a repetitive pattern of work days on and work days off for security posts/cadres whereby a
required number of hours of work are completed in a given time period, e.g. every week, ten days, two weeks, month
etc. Examples: five days on, two days off; four days on, three days off etc.
Shift Relief Factor: The factor used to calculate the number of FTEs required to cover a post, including coverage for
regular days off, annual leave, sick leave, personal leave, training, workers compensation etc. For example
Staffing Analysis: a methodical and detailed set of procedures used to develop and maintain an accurate shift relief
factor, approved post plans, efficient scheduling patterns, master and daily rosters. Such procedures are essential to
(1) establishing the number of full time equivalent positions required to keep a full complement of staff and (2)
Uniformed Security Staff: All staff who wear security uniforms and whose primary function and specific duties are to
ensure the safety of staff and inmates throughout a corrections agency’s facilities, units, programs, services, and/or
functions

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INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

Appropriate Security Staffing for Medical Service Delivery
U. S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

Please fax the completed inventory to Judy Bisbee at 860-704-6420, or send by mail to Criminal Justice
Institute, 213 Court Street, Suite 606, Middletown, CT 06457 by: Friday, January 9, 2004.
Inventory Completed By:
Name
_______________________________ Title _____________________________________
Agency ____________________________________________________________________________
Phone _______________________________ Fax ______________________________________
Email
____________________________________________________________________________
Who should complete this inventory? Preferably, the individual in charge of Medical/Health Services
for the Corrections Department or his/her designee should complete this inventory. If this person is a
medical/health services contractor, the inventory should be directed either to the contractor or to the
agency’s contract monitor.
Purpose of the Staffing Inventory for the Chronically Ill: The purpose of this inventory is to collect
information from state departments of corrections that will contribute significantly to the development of a
National Institute of Corrections manual for training staff to conduct prison security staffing analyses. This
inventory focuses on the security staffing needs in units or facilities housing chronically ill inmates. Your
responses will contribute to recommendations on how to tailor post plans to meet the needs of chronically
ill inmates. Best practices, policies and procedures for conducting staffing analyses as well as practices
for developing specialized post plans for units housing other special populations are also requested for
review and possible inclusion in the manual. Separate inventories have also been distributed for general
staffing practices, for women offenders, and the mentally ill inmates.
Definitions of Key Terms:
Medical/Health Service Delivery Variables: The characteristics of a medical/health service delivery environment
that influence the methods required to deliver health services to inmate patients efficiently and safely. Such variables
can include:
r
r

Patient Population Characteristics
Physical Characteristics and Technologies

r
r

Points of Service and Access to Service
Staff Issues in Medical/Health Service Delivery

Security Staff: Uniformed staff whose primary function and specific duties are to ensure the safety of staff and
inmates in a corrections agency’s facilities, units, programs, services, and/or functions.
Non Security Staff: Staff whose primary functions and specific duties do not include inmate surveillance and control.
Professional Staff: Staff who are educated and trained to provide specialized services to the inmate population.
Examples are medical staff, mental health staff, educational and vocational program teaching staff, recreation
therapists, etc.
Staffing Analysis: An exercise using methodical and detailed procedures to establish, validate, and/or modify post
plans, scheduling patterns, shift relief factors, etc. in order to calculate the number of full time equivalent positions
required to maintain a full complement of staff to operate a facility safely and securely without the use of overtime.
Post: An established staff function assigned to a particular area/service that is scheduled to be occupied (open) at
prescribed time periods and on particular days according to a post plan.
Post Plan: The plan that delineates required numbers of posts to serve specific purposes according to area, service,
function, and schedule.
Patients: Inmates who are chronically ill and/or are receiving health services.

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187

APPENDIX A

Does a Central Office Medical Services administrator or contract manager
oversee health service delivery in all Department of Corrections facilities?

YES

NO

Please describe how Medical Services are delivered to inmate patients in your jurisdiction by
placing an (X) in each box that applies to your jurisdiction.
Medical Service Delivery Components in Your
Department of Corrections

Yes (X) if
Provided by
the DOC

Yes (X) if
Provided by
a Contractor

Medical Services are offered in varying levels of care, all of which may not be
accessible at every institution.
All institutions offer some access to medical services.
Within an institution, services are, in some instances, provided in separate
residential medical unit(s).
There are services from other agencies, facilities and entities outside the
Department of Corrections delivered to or accessed by inmates.
Other service delivery component:
Other service delivery component:

MEDICAL SERVICE DELIVERY AND SECURITY STAFF ROLES
Screening and Training Correctional Staff to Work With Chronically Ill
Inmates

YES

NO

Does Health Services staff screen Security Staff who may be working with mentally ill
inmates for suitability for the work?
Does Health Services staff provide training for Security Staff who may be working with
mentally ill inmates?
What types of training is provided?

What are your expectations for security staff with regard to medical services? Listed below are
some responsibilities/duties that might be expected of security staff who support the delivery of medical
services in the corrections setting. Please place an (X) after the expectations with which you agree and
add to the list expectations not listed here.
Security Staff Responsibilities/Duties:
Report any unusual change in a patient’s physical condition
Report to medical staff all incidents relating to a patient’s medical issues
Participate in patient treatment team meetings
Schedule and produce patients for all medical appointments and related activities
Escort patients to medical services
Manage patients according to protocols as directed by medical staff
Ensure security during medical service delivery inside housing units
Ensure security during medical service delivery outside housing units
Observe inmates who need special observation according to medical staff instructions and record
observations as required
Other:
Other:

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(X)

INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

Indicators that security staffing levels are not sufficient to meet Medical/Health Service
Delivery requirements: (X) those that apply for your agency.

(X)

Confusion and congestion in the service delivery area/clinic
Poor state of cleanliness in medical housing units
Inmates are consistently late for medical appointments at the clinic
Security is slow to respond to incident(s) with patients in the treatment area
Security is slow to respond to incident(s) with patients in the housing units
Medicines are found during shakedowns of housing units
Numerous medical staff complaints/grievances regarding the lack of safety
Other:
Other:
Are security staff authorities informed when you experience indicators of insufficient
security staff?

YES (X)

NO (X)

What formal method does medical/health service staff use for addressing insufficient security staff?

What informal method does medical/health service staff use for addressing insufficient security staff?

Do security personnel routinely solicit your input on staffing needs in medical/health
service delivery areas?

YES (X)

NO (X)

Staffing Analysis Practices Relating to Medical/Health Service Delivery (Check all that apply)
(X)

There are specific method(s) used in your jurisdiction to determine the number of security staff needed to
support medical/health service functions.
Medical staff participates with security staffing authorities in determining the number, types and roles of
security staff needed for provision of medical/health services to inmate patients.
There is a periodic review and/or analysis of general population security post plans in your jurisdiction.
There is a periodic review and/or analysis of security post plans for medical units, functions, services.
There is a formal procedure used to conduct periodic reviews of security staffing levels.

Medical/health service personnel participate in such periodic reviews.
What improvements to current medical/health service security staffing policies and procedures would you recommend
to your jurisdiction? (Attach additional sheet if needed.)

Shift Relief Factor

Yes

No

When computing the number of security FTE positions needed for your correctional system, does your
agency compute a shift relief factor?
Do you use a separate Shift Relief Factor formula to determine security staffing levels for facilities/units
housing chronically ill inmates?
If your agency uses a separate Shift Relief Factor to determine security staffing levels for housing facilities/units
housing chronically ill inmates, how does it differ from your agency’s Shift Relief Factor used for general staffing
purposes? (Please include a copy of any policies & procedures that explain that method.)

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189

APPENDIX A

MEDICAL/HEALTH SERVICE DELIVERY VARIABLES THAT AFFECT SECURITY POST PLANS
Use your professional expertise to rank how important each characteristic listed below is when assigning security
posts in support medical/health service delivery. Enter a number according to the scale below.
0 Not important when staffing to support medical/health service delivery.
1 Of Very Little Importance when staffing to support medical/health service delivery.
2 Of Some Importance when staffing to support medical/health service delivery.
3 Moderately important when staffing to support medical/health service delivery.
4 Significantly important when staffing to support medical/health service delivery.
5 Of Utmost importance when staffing to support medical/health service delivery.

Characteristics of the Patient Population

Custody level of the patient(s) (maximum/medium/minimum)
Genders of patients
Presence of patients who have conditions that require assistance in moving
Presence of patients who require medications at regular intervals of time
Presence of patients who require escort within the unit e.g. bathroom
Other characteristic:
Other characteristic:
Does the number of security staff needed vary with the profile of the patient
population on a given day?

Physical Plant Characteristics and Technologies

Importance of Characteristic
when Assigning Security Posts
for Medical/Health Service
Delivery (Rate 0 – 5)

Yes (X)

No (X)

Importance of Characteristic
when Assigning Security Posts
for Medical/Health Service
Delivery (Rate 0 – 5)

Medical housing: single or double-cells, multi-occupancy rooms, or dorms?
Presence or absence of equipment/space to administer medications
Presence or absence of one-to-one examining rooms on housing units.
Presence or absence of body or other alarms for all staff involved
Presence or absence of special observation cells
Presence or absence of video surveillance for some or all cells in the unit
Presence or absence of intercom for communication between staff and inmates
Other characteristic:
Other characteristic:

Points of Service and Access to Service

Medical offices/clinics located in the institution are open for during the day.
Medical clinic/infirmary is open 24 hours per day.
There are departmental medical services available in other institutions to which
inmates can be transferred if they require additional services.
Triage/sick call is conducted in the housing unit or outside the unit.
Patients are escorted/transported by security staff to the facility’s onsite clinic(s)
for appointments and treatment.
Medical staff provide treatment in medical spaces on housing unit(s).
Patients live in a separate dedicated medical treatment unit within the facility
where services are delivered.
Patients go unescorted to medical clinics and treatment programs.
Medications are administered in the clinic.
Medications are administered from a common location in or near housing units.
Medical residential units are specially configured and equipped for delivering
many medical services.

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Importance of Characteristic
when Assigning Security Posts
for Medical/Health Service
Delivery (Rate 0 – 5)

INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

Importance of Characteristic
when Assigning Security Posts
for Medical/Health Service
Delivery (Rate 0 – 5)

Points of Service and Access to Service (Continued from Page 4)

Other:
Other:
Importance of Characteristic
when Assigning Security Posts
for Medical/Health Service
Delivery (Rate 0 –5)

Staff and Safety

Whether or not security staff who work in medical health areas are specially
trained to work with mentally ill patients.
Whether or not medical health workers are trained in security to enhance their
abilities to function safely in a prison environment.
Number of professional staff dedicated to the unit.
Time and schedule for inmates to be out of their cells/rooms but in the unit.
Time and schedule for inmates to be outside the housing unit.
Special duties such as security supervision of pill lines, examinations, therapy.
Other service delivery scenario:
Other service delivery scenario:
Yes
No
Initial # Hrs.
Do security staff who work in medical/health receive
specialized training for working with mentally ill inmates?
Are specially trained security staff exempt from the facility rotation schedule because of their
assignments in medical/health units?

In-Service #Hrs.
Yes

No

Medical Staff
Indicate if you use the staff listed in delivering medical services to
men’s institutions and women’s institutions. (X)
Indicate the typical number of staff for male institutions and for
women’s institutions. Enter the staff/inmate ratio if available.
Physicians
Physician’s Assistants
Nurses
Nurses’ Aides
Paramedics
Administrators
Health Education Personnel
Activity Therapist
Physical Therapist
Lab Technicians
X-ray Technicians
Other:
Other:
Other:
Other:

(X)

# for
Men

# for
Women

Staff/
Inmate
Ratio

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191

APPENDIX A

Externally Imposed Staffing Requirements
Does your agency currently operating under a consent decree, court order, and/or
memorandum of agreement with regard to medical unit/function/services staffing
patterns and/or levels?

Yes

No

If “Yes,” please specify the citation for the court order or case:

What are the requirements of the court order or memorandum of agreement?

Was there a previous consent decree, court order, and/or memorandum of agreement
no longer in force that controlled staffing patterns and/or levels in medical units?

Yes

No

Yes

No

If “Yes,” please specify the citation for the court order or case:

What were the requirements of the court order or memorandum of agreement?

Are staffing levels in medical/health units impacted by labor agreements for:
Correctional Officers?
Correctional Supervisors?
Program Staff?
Professional Staff?
If “Yes,” what are the requirements or specifications of the agreement?

Does your agency follow standards set by a professional agency that monitors and
accredits compliance with health services delivery standards (e.g., ACA, NCCHC,
JCAH)?

Yes

No

Yes

No

If “Yes,” what is the name of the agency?
Which standards apply?

Does your agency have policies and procedures that govern staffing practices in
medical units?
If “Yes,” what is the name of the agency?

Please send us copies of the policies and procedures that govern staffing practices in medical units. Please include
any forms, tables, and other documents that your agency uses to conduct a staffing analysis.
Please fax to Judy Bisbee at 860-704-6420, or send by mail to: Judy Bisbee at the Criminal Justice Institute,
213 Court Street, Suite 606, Middletown, CT 06457. Please send any electronic files to jbisbee@cji-inc.com.
Thank you for your assistance.

192

|

INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

Appropriate Security Staffing for Mental Health Service Delivery
U. S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

Please fax the completed inventory to Judy Bisbee at 860-704-6420, or send by mail to Criminal Justice
Institute, 213 Court Street, Suite 606, Middletown, CT 06457 by: Friday, January 9, 2004.
Inventory Completed By:
Name
_______________________________ Title _____________________________________
Agency ____________________________________________________________________________
Phone
_______________________________ Fax ______________________________________
Email
____________________________________________________________________________
Who should complete this inventory? Preferably, the individual in charge of Mental Health Services
for the Corrections Department or his/her designee. If this person is a mental health services contractor,
the inventory should be directed either to the contractor or to the agency’s contract monitor.
Purpose of the Staffing Inventory for the Mentally Ill: The purpose of this inventory is to collect
information from state departments of corrections that will contribute significantly to the development of a
National Institute of Corrections manual for training staff to conduct prison security staffing analyses. This
inventory focuses on the security staffing needs in units or facilities housing mentally ill inmates. Your
responses will contribute to recommendations on how to tailor post plans to meet the needs of mentally ill
inmates. Best practices, policies and procedures for conducting staffing analyses as well as practices for
developing specialized post plans for facilities or units housing other special populations are also
requested for review and possible inclusion in the manual. Separate inventories have also been
distributed for general staffing practices, for the chronically ill, and for women offenders.
Definitions of Key Terms:
Mental Health Service Delivery Variables: The characteristics of a mental health service delivery environment that
influence the methods required to deliver mental health services to inmate patients efficiently and safely. Such
variables can include:
r
r
r
r
r

Patient Population Characteristics
Physical Characteristics and Technologies
Points of Service
Method(s) for Accessing Service
Staff Issues in Mental Health Service Delivery

Security Staff: Uniformed staff whose primary function and specific duties are to ensure the safety of staff and
inmates in a corrections agency’s facilities, units, programs, services, and/or functions.
Non-Security Staff: Staff whose primary functions and specific duties do not include inmate surveillance and control.
Professional Staff: Staff who are specially educated and trained to provide specialized services to the inmate
population. Examples are medical staff, mental health staff, educational and vocational program teaching staff,
recreation therapists etc.
Staffing Analysis: An exercise using methodical and detailed procedures to establish, validate and/or modify post
plans, scheduling patterns, shift relief factors, etc. in order to calculate the number of full time equivalent positions
required to maintain a full complement of staff to operate a facility safely and securely without the use of overtime.
Post: An established staff function assigned to a particular area/service that is scheduled to be occupied (open) at
prescribed time periods and on particular days according to a post plan.
Post Plan: The plan that delineates required numbers of posts to serve specific purposes according to area, service,
function and schedule.
Patients: Inmates who are mentally ill and/or are receiving mental health services.

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193

APPENDIX A

YES

Does a Central Office Mental Health administrator or contract manager
oversee mental health service delivery in all Department of Corrections
facilities?

NO

Please describe how Mental Health Services are delivered to inmate patients in your jurisdiction
by placing an (X) in each box that applies to your jurisdiction.
Mental Health Service Delivery Components in Your
Department of Corrections

Yes (X) if
Provided by
the DOC

Yes (X) if
Provided by
a Contractor

Mental Health Services are offered in varying levels of care, all of which may not be
accessible at every institution.
All institutions offer some access to mental health services.
There are institution(s) in the DOC operated exclusively as mental health facilities
Within an institution, services are, in some instances, provided in separate
residential mental health unit(s).
There are services from other agencies, facilities and entities outside the
Department of Corrections delivered to or accessed by inmates.
Step-down programs are offered as patients need less intensive services
Other service delivery component:
Other service delivery component:

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE DELIVERY AND SECURITY STAFF ROLES
Screening and Training Correctional Staff to Work With Mentally Ill Inmates

YES

NO

Does Mental Health screen Security Staff who may be working with mentally ill inmates
for suitability for the work?
Does Mental Health provide training for Security Staff who may be working with mentally
ill inmates?
What types of training is provided?

What are your expectations for security staff with regard to mental health services? Listed below
are some responsibilities/duties that might be expected of security staff who support the delivery of
mental health services in the corrections setting. Please place an (X) after the expectations with which
you agree and add to the list expectations not listed here.
Security Staff are Expected To:
Report any unusual change in a patient’s mood or behavior
Report to mental health staff all incidents involving a patient’s mental health issues
Participate in mental health treatment team meetings

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(X)

INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

Security Staff are Expected To:

(X)

Schedule and produce patients for all mental health appointments and related activities
Escort patients to mental health services
Manage patients according to mental health protocols when they act out
Ensure security during medication lines
Ensure security during mental health service delivery outside housing units
Observe inmates who need special observation according to mental health staff instructions (intervals,
interaction etc.) and record observations as required
Other:
Other:

What are the indicators that security staffing levels are not sufficient to meet Mental Health
Service Delivery requirements? Indicate (X) those that apply for your agency.

(X)

Confusion and congestion in the service delivery area/clinic
Poor state of cleanliness in mental health housing units
Inmates are consistently late for mental health appointments at the clinic
Security is slow to respond to incident(s) with patients in the treatment area
Security is slow to respond to incident(s) with patients in the housing units
Medicines are found during shakedowns of housing units
Numerous mental health staff complaints/grievances regarding the lack of safety
Frequent use of force by security staff in mental health housing areas
Other:
Other:

Are security staff authorities informed when you experience indicators of insufficient
security staff?

YES (X)

NO (X)

YES (X)

NO (X)

What formal method does mental health staff use for addressing insufficient security staff?

What informal method does mental health staff use for addressing insufficient security staff?

Do security personnel routinely solicit your input on staffing needs in mental health service
delivery areas?

Staffing Analysis Practices Relating to Mental Health Service Delivery (Check all that apply)
There are specific method(s) used in your jurisdiction to determine the number of security staff needed to
support mental health service functions.
Mental health staff participates with security staffing authorities in determining the number, types and roles of
security staff needed for provision of mental health services to inmate patients.
There is a periodic review and/or analysis of general population security post plans in your jurisdiction.

(X)

There is a periodic review and/or analysis of security post plans for mental health units, functions, services.
There is a formal procedure used to conduct periodic reviews of security staffing levels.
Mental health personnel participate in such periodic reviews.
What improvements to current mental health security staffing policies and procedures would you recommend to your
jurisdiction? (Attach additional sheet if needed.)

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195

APPENDIX A

Shift Relief Factor

Yes

No

When computing the number of security FTE positions needed for your correctional system, does your
agency compute a shift relief factor?
Do you use a separate Shift Relief Factor formula to determine security staffing levels for facilities/units
housing mentally ill inmates?
If your agency uses a separate Shift Relief Factor to determine security staffing levels for housing mentally ill
inmates, how does it differ from your agency’s Shift Relief Factor used for general staffing purposes?

If your agency does calculate a separate Shift Relief Factor for facilities housing mentally ill inmates, please explain
why below and include a copy of those procedures with this inventory:

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE DELIVERY VARIABLES THAT AFFECT SECURITY POST PLANS
Use your professional expertise to rank how important each characteristic listed below is when assigning security
posts in support mental health service delivery. Enter a number according to the scale below.
0 Not important when staffing to support Mental Health service delivery.
1 Of Very Little Importance when staffing to support Mental Health service delivery.
2 Of Some Importance when staffing to support Mental Health service delivery.
3 Moderately Important when staffing to support Mental Health service delivery.
4 Significantly Important when staffing to support Mental Health service delivery.
5 Of Utmost Importance when staffing to support Mental Health service delivery.

Characteristics of the Patient Population

Importance of Characteristic
when Assigning Security Posts
for Mental Health Service
Delivery (Rate 0 – 5)

Custody level of the patient(s) (maximum/medium/minimum)
Genders of patients
Presence of patients who have histories of disruptive or psychotic episodes
Presence of patients who are a threat to injure themselves or others (suicidal)
Presence of patients who require medications at regular intervals of time
Presence of patients who require escort within the unit e.g. bathroom
Other characteristic:
Other characteristic:

Physical Plant Characteristics and Technologies

Presence or absence of equipment/space to administer medications
Presence or absence of treatment / activity rooms on the housing units
Presence or absence of body- or other alarms for all staff involved
Presence or absence of special observation cells
Presence or absence of video surveillance for some or all cells in the unit
Presence or absence of intercom for communication between staff and inmates
Other characteristic:
Other characteristic:

196

|

Importance of Characteristic
when Assigning Security Posts
for Mental Health Service
Delivery (Rate 0 – 5)

INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

Importance of Characteristic
when Assigning Security Posts
for Mental Health Service
Delivery (Rate 0 – 5)

Mental Health Points of Service and Access to Service

Mental health offices/clinics located in the institution are open for during the day.
Medical clinic/infirmary is open 24 hours per day.
The entire facility is a mental health facility.
There are departmental mental health services available in other institutions to
which inmates can be transferred if they require additional services.
Patients are escorted/transported by security staff to the facility’s onsite clinic(s)
for appointments and treatment.
Mental health staff provide treatment in mental health spaces on housing unit(s).
Patients live in a separate dedicated mental health treatment unit within the
facility where services are delivered.
Patients go unescorted to mental health clinics and treatment programs.
Medications are administered in the clinic.
Medications are administered from a common location in or near housing units.
A mental health staff person triages inmates with complaints in housing units.
Mental health residential units are specially configured and equipped for
delivering most mental health services.
Other:
Other:
Importance of Characteristic
when Assigning Security Posts
for Mental Health Service
Delivery (Rate 0 –5)

Staff and Safety

Whether or not security staff who work in mental health areas are specially
trained to work with mentally ill patients.
Whether or not mental health workers are trained in security to enhance their
abilities to function safely in a prison environment.
The number of professional staff dedicated to the unit.
Time and schedule for inmates to be out of their cells/rooms but in the unit.
Time and schedule for inmates to be outside the housing unit.
Special duties such as security supervision of pill lines, examinations, therapy.
Other service delivery scenario:
Other service delivery scenario:
Yes
No
Initial # Hrs.
Do security staff who work in mental health receive
specialized training for working with mentally ill inmates?
Are specially trained security staff exempt from the facility rotation schedule because
of their assignments in mental health units?

In-Service #Hrs.
Yes

No

Mental Health Staff
Indicate if you use the staff listed in delivering mental health
services to men’s institutions and women’s institutions. (X)
Indicate the typical number of staff for male institutions and for
women’s institutions. Enter the staff/inmate ratio if available.

(X)

# for
Men

# for
Women

Staff/
Inmate
Ratio

Psychiatrists
Psychiatric Nurses
Psychiatrist’s Assistants
Psychologists
Counselors
Social Workers/Case Workers
Mental Health Aides
Physicians
Nurses

|

197

APPENDIX A

Nurses’ Aides
Paramedics
Administrators
Mental Health Educator
Activity Therapist
Group Therapists
Other:
Other:
Other:
Other:
Other:
Other:

Externally Imposed Staffing Requirements
Is the agency currently operating under a consent decree, court order, and/or memorandum
of agreement with regard to mental health unit/function/services staffing patterns and/or
levels?

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

If “Yes,” please specify the citation for the court order or case:

What are the requirements of the court order or memorandum of agreement?

Was there a previous consent decree, court order, and/or memorandum of agreement no
longer in force that controlled staffing patterns and/or levels in mental health units?

If “Yes,” please specify the citation for the court order or case:

What were the requirements of the court order or memorandum of agreement?

Are staffing levels in mental health units impacted by labor agreements for:
Correctional Officers?
Correctional Supervisors?
Program Staff?
Professional Staff?
If “Yes,” what are the requirements or specifications of the agreement?

Does your agency follow standards set by a professional agency that monitors and
accredits compliance with mental health standards (e.g., ACA, NCCHC, JCAH)?

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|

INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

If “Yes,” what is the name of the agency?
Which standards apply?

Yes

No

Does your agency have policies and procedures that govern staffing practices in mental
health units?

If “Yes,” what is the name of the agency?
Please send us copies of these policies and procedures. Please include any forms, tables, and other documents that
your agency uses to conduct a staffing analysis.
Please fax to Judy Bisbee at 860-704-6420, or send by mail to: Judy Bisbee at the Criminal Justice Institute,
213 Court Street, Suite 606, Middletown, CT 06457.
Please send any electronic files to jbisbee@cji-inc.com.

Thank you for your assistance.

|

199

INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

Staffing for Women’s Correctional Institutions
U. S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

Please fax the completed inventory to Judy Bisbee at 860-704-6420, or send by mail to Criminal Justice
Institute, 213 Court Street, Suite 606, Middletown, CT 06457 by: Friday, January 9, 2004.
Inventory Completed By:
Name
_______________________________ Title _____________________________________
Agency ____________________________________________________________________________
Phone _______________________________ Fax ______________________________________
Email
____________________________________________________________________________

Who should complete this inventory? Preferably, the individual in charge of adult women’s services
for the Corrections Department or his/her designee should respond. If such a division does not exist, the
person most knowledgeable and/or responsible for staffing women’s facility(ies) should respond.

Purpose of the Staffing Inventory for Women Offenders: The purpose of this inventory is to collect
information from state departments of corrections that will contribute significantly to the development of a
National Institute of Corrections manual for training staff to conduct prison security staffing analyses. This
inventory focuses on the security staffing needs in units or facilities housing women offenders. Your
responses will contribute to recommendations on how to tailor post plans to meet the needs of women
offenders. Best practices, policies, and procedures for conducting staffing analyses as well as practices
for developing specialized post plans for units housing these special populations are also requested for
review and possible inclusion in the manual. Separate inventories have also been distributed for general
staffing, chronically ill, and mentally ill offenders.
Definitions of Key Terms:
Security Staff: Uniformed staff whose primary function and specific duties are to ensure the safety of staff and
inmates in a correctional agency’s facilities, units, programs, services, and/or functions.
Professional Staff: Staff who are educated and trained to provide specialized services to the inmate population.
Examples are medical staff, mental health staff, educational and vocational program staff, recreation therapists, etc.
Staffing Analysis: An exercise using methodical and detailed procedures to establish, validate and/or modify post
plans, scheduling patterns, shift relief factors, etc. in order to calculate the number of full time equivalent positions
required to maintain a full complement of staff to operate a facility appropriately, safely and securely without the use
of overtime.
Post: An established staff function assigned to a particular area/service that is scheduled to be occupied (open) at
prescribed time periods and on particular days according to a post plan.
Post Plan: The plan that delineates required numbers and types of posts to serve specific purposes according to
area, service, function and schedule.
Cross-Gender Supervision: Staffing which includes allowing staff members to supervise inmates of the opposite
sex.

|

201

APPENDIX A

Agency Organization for Women’s Supervision, Services and Programs

YES

NO

Is there a Central Office position for administering women’s institutions, services and
programs?
Is there a separate institution exclusively for women in your agency?
Are any women in coed facilities?
Is there cross-gender supervision of women in your agency?
If there is cross-gender supervision of women in your agency, what percentage of staff
who supervise women are male?

Staffing Analysis for Women’s Institutions

%

YES

NO

Is there a department-wide staffing analysis process used in your agency?
If yes, is there a periodic review of the security post plans designed specifically for
women’s institutions and different from the review conducted for male institutions?
Are women-specific method(s) used to determine the number of security staff required to
support women’s institutions?
Are women-specific criteria used for establishing, adding and/or deleting posts in women
institutions?
Is there a particular position/person tasked to conduct staffing processes specifically
designed for women’s facilities?
Is there a security position/person who makes decisions to establish, add and/or delete
security posts and positions based on special needs of women offenders?
Is there a medical position/person who makes decisions to establish, add and/or delete
medical posts and positions based on special needs of women offenders?
Is there a mental health position/person who makes decisions to establish, add and/or
delete mental health posts and positions based on special needs of women offenders?
Is there a program position/person who makes decisions to establish, add and/or delete
program posts and positions based on special needs of women offenders?
Is there a process by which disciplines collaborate to determine numbers and types of
staff required for women’s housing, programming, medical and mental health services?
Is there a specific women’s institution shift relief factor used to calculate numbers of
positions needed for women offenders?
Are there special policy provisions for cross-gender staffing/posting?
Is there a required ratio of officers to women offenders?
Are staffing levels higher when most security staff are female?
Are staffing levels higher when most security staff are male?
What is the current ratio of staff to inmates?

1 to_____

If there are policies and procedures for staffing women’s institutions, and especially criteria for
establishing, adding and deleting posts, please send them or email to jbisbee@cji-inc.com.

202

|

INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

Do You Think That the Needs of Women Offenders
Require More Staff in Women’s Institutions Than
Are Required in Men’s Institutions?

Agree?
(X)

Indicate with (X) the areas that require
more staff in women’s institutions.
Security

Medical

Mental
Health

Programs

Special Needs of Women Offenders
Women offenders are frequently not separated by
classification. Women require separations in housing
accommodations according to security risks and needs.
Most women offenders require more time and attention from
staff than men do.
Women who have been have been abused physically,
sexually, and emotionally frequently suffer from more trauma,
depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders that
require special treatment.
Women have higher rates of somatic illnesses than men.
Women have more venereal and pelvic disorders than men.
Women require more use of medications than men.
Women offenders are more likely than males to have serious
substance abuse issues. They need more intensive
treatment.
Women require more trips to special medical clinics than
men.
Women’s medical issues require medical coverage 24 hours
per day.
Women offenders require special programs in parenting,
battering and abuse, legal recourse etc.
Pregnant women need prenatal care.
Pregnant women need transport procedures different from
those of men.
Pregnant women need special quarters and accommodations
during the latter part of gestation.
Some pregnant women require 24-hour nursing services
before delivery.
Women need to have their babies with them after delivery.
Women need to visit with their children more often and/or for
longer periods of time.
Some women want to have their children visit and/or live in
their housing units.
Women have more and different needs for hygiene and
grooming space and equipment than men.
Women prefer private living quarters more than males.
Women have needs that require more social work services
than men, e.g., family contacts, childcare.
Other:
Other:
Other:

|

203

APPENDIX A

Shift Relief Factor

Yes

No

When computing the number of security FTE positions needed for your correctional system, does your
agency compute a shift relief factor?
Do you use a separate Shift Relief Factor formula to determine security staffing levels for women’s
facilities/units?
If your agency uses a separate Shift Relief Factor to determine security staffing levels for women’s facilities/units,
how does it differ from your agency’s Shift Relief Factor used for general staffing purposes?

If your agency does calculate a separate Shift Relief Factor for women’s facilities, please explain why below and
include a copy of those procedures with this inventory:

Cross Gender Supervision Needs

Generally, women’s needs and behavior differ significantly
from that of males.
Women behave differently and sometimes sexually forward
toward male staff.
Generally, women have more need not to be seen by the
opposite sex in vulnerable situations than do males.
Generally, women have more need not to be touched by
the opposite sex in vulnerable areas than do men. They
prefer to be pat-searched by staff of the same sex.
Generally, women offenders have higher needs for female
nurturing than men.
Generally, there are topics that women prefer not to
discuss with men.
Women need and require less aggressive (non-aggressive)
supervision than men.
Women are afraid of being physically and emotionally
abused by men.
Because there is a correctional history of women offenders
having been sexually abused by male staff, women are
afraid of male staff.
Because of histories of prostitution, many women offenders
desperately need positive male role models.
Women who are in the hospital are uncomfortable with
male officers supervising them.

204

|

Agree?
(X)

Warrants
Screening for
Personality
Characteristics?
(X)

Warrants
Special
Training
for Staff?
(X)

Warrants
Same Sex
Staff?
(X)

INVENTORY QUESTIONNAIRES

Different Staff Duties in Women’s Institutions.
Indicate if the duty can add to number of staff required. (X all that apply)

(X)

Report and/or document any unusual/significant change in an inmate’s emotional condition.
Counsel with inmates who are out of control for longer periods of time than would be allowed for males.
Use force with women inmates according to special female-specific protocols.
Observe pregnant women according to medical staff instructions and document as required.
Distribute female-specific supplies.
Spend extra time listening to inmate problems and complaints.
Open special grooming facilities and supervise them during more hours of the day than in male institutions.
Spend more time supervising cleaning and monitoring property than in male institutions.
Spend more time dressing out and transporting inmates to appointments.
Call and wait for female officers to perform strip and/or pat searches on women inmates.
Supervise housing units in which children are present.
Monitor closely mentally ill, chronically ill and pregnant inmates and document changes as directed.
Other:
Other:

What Are the Indicators that Security Staffing is Insufficient or
Gender Inappropriate? (X all that apply)

Insufficient

Gender
Inappropriate

Reports of sexual misconduct between staff and inmates.
An increase in the number of fights among female inmates.
Grievances against staff for abusive behavior.
Documented concerns about quality of supervision by mental health staff.
Documented concerns about quality of supervision by medical staff.
Documented concerns about quality of supervision by program staff.
Lack of cleanliness in the housing unit.
Complaints by pregnant inmates.
Observable bruises and marks on inmates.
Dramatic increase in sick call.
Other:

Other:

|

205

APPENDIX A

External Staffing Requirements
Is the agency currently operating under a consent decree, court order, and/or memorandum of
agreement with regard to women’s institutions staffing patterns and/or levels?

Yes

No

If “Yes,” please specify the citation for the court order or case:

What are the requirements of the court order or memorandum of agreement? (Use separate sheet if needed.)

Was there a previous consent decree, court order, and/or memorandum of agreement no
longer in force that controlled staffing patterns and/or levels in women’s institutions?

Yes

No

If “Yes,” please specify the citation for the court order or case:

What were the requirements of the court order or memorandum of agreement? (Use separate sheet if needed.)

Yes

No

Does your agency follow standards set by the American Correctional Association specifically
for women inmates?

Yes

No

Does your agency have policies and procedures that govern staffing practices for women?

Yes

No

Are staffing levels in women’s institutions impacted by labor agreements for:
Correctional staff?
Program Staff?
Professional Staff?
Is there a requirement for equal employment with regard to gender?
If “Yes,” what are the requirements or specifications of the agreement?

Please send us copies of these policies and procedures and any other documents addressing staffing women’s
institutions. Please include any forms, tables, and other documents that your agency uses to conduct a staffing
analysis.
Please fax to Judy Bisbee at 860-704-6420, or send by mail to Judy Bisbee at the Criminal Justice Institute,
213 Court Street, Suite 606, Middletown, CT 06457.
Please send any electronic files to jbisbee@cji-inc.com.

Thank you for your assistance.

206

|

A PPE ND IX B

Blank Forms

Appendix B. Blank Forms
Form A: Daily Activities for Facility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .209

Form B: Shift Relief Factor Based on Net Annual Work Hours . . . . . . . . . . . . . .211

Form C: Shift Relief Factor Based on Days . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .213

Form D: Post Evaluation and Planning Instrument,
Part 1, Current Post Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .215

Form D: Post Evaluation and Planning Instrument,
Part 2, Recommended Post Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .217

Form E: Recommended Post Modification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .219

Form F: Total Staff Required and Total Cost by Security Rank . . . . . . . . . . . . . .221


Form A: Daily Activities for Facility
Activity

0:00

1:00

2:00

3:00

4:00

5:00

6:00

7:00

8:00

9:00

10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Shift Change/Briefing
Times:
Counts
Times:
Food Service
Times:
Scheduled Transports
Times:
Education Classes
Times:
Vocational Training Classes
Times:
Industries Operations
Times:
Work Details
Times:
Visiting
Times:
Attorney Visits
Times:
Sick Call
Times:
Special Clinics
Times:
Medication Administration
Times:
Commissary
Times:
Recreation and Leisure
Times:
Library, Law Library
Times:
Social Services Interviewing
Times:
Group Therapy, Cognitive
Times:
Alcoholics Anon./Narcotics Anon.
Times:

Classification Hearings
Times:

|

Religious Activities
Times:

209


BLANK FORMS

Disciplinary Hearings
Times:

BLANK FORMS

Form B: Shift Relief Factor Based on Net Annual Work Hours
Major
Calculate net annual work hours (NAWH):

Captain

Lieutenant

Sergeant

Correctional
Officer

Hours

1. Total hours contracted per employee per year (If a regular
workweek is 40 hours, then 40 X 52.14 weeks = 2,086.)
2. Average number of vacation hours per employee per year
3. Average number of holiday hours off per employee per year
4. Average number of compensatory hours off per employee per year
5. Average number of sick leave hours off per employee per year
6. Average number of training hours off per employee per year
7. Average number of personal hours off per employee per year
8. Average number of military hours off per employee per year
9. Average number of meal hours per employee per year
(only used if post is relieved)*
10. Job injury/Workers Compensation leave
(not included in sick leave or other category)
11. Average number of hours of leave without pay
(including Family and Medical Leave)
12. Average number of hours of relief-from-duty leave (with or without pay)
13. Average number of hours of funeral/bereavement leave
14. Average number of hours of unauthorized absence
15. Average number of hours of unearned/executive leave
16. Average number of hours of vacancies until positions are filled
17. Other
18. Total hours off per employee per year (Add Lines 2 through 17.)
19. Net annual work hours (Subtract Line 18 from Line 1.)

Calculate the number of hours the post must be staffed per year:
20. Hours in basic shift
21. Shifts per day
22. Days per week
23. Total hours post staffed per year (Line 20 X Line 21 X Line 22 X 52.14)

Calculate the shift relief factor (SRF):

Full-time-equivalent staff

24. SRF for 5-day post, one 8-hour shift: 

Line 23 (hours post staffed per year) ÷ Line 19 (NAWH) 


Other shift relief factors based on SRF for a 5-day post:
25. 7-day post, one 8-hour shift: (Line 24 X 7) ÷ 5
26. 7-day post, 8-hour shifts, 24-hour continuous coverage: Line 25 X 3
27. 7-day post, one 10-hour shift: (Line 24 X 10) ÷ 8
28. 7-day post, one 12-hour shift: (Line 25 X 12) ÷ 8
29. 7-day post, 12-hour shifts, 24-hour continuous coverage: Line 28 X 2
*

If some staff in a classification are relieved for meals/breaks and some are not, an additional column is required for that classification because the total net
annual work hours will be less for relieved posts than for nonrelieved posts.
Source: Adapted from Dennis R. Liebert and Rod Miller, Staffing Analysis Workbook for Jails, 2d ed. (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National
Institute of Corrections, 2003), page 43.

|

211

BLANK FORMS

Form C: Shift Relief Factor Based on Days
Major
Post data:

Captain

Lieutenant

Sergeant

Correctional
Officer

Days

A. Days per week post is covered
B. Days per year post is covered (Line A X 52.14)

Staff availability:

Days

C. Days contracted to work per year
Annual leave
Holiday leave
Compensatory time
Sick leave
Training time
Personal time
Military leave (paid and unpaid)
Meal and break time
Job injury/Workers Compensation leave (excludes sick leave)
Leave without pay (e.g., Family and Medical Leave Act)
Relief-from-duty leave (with or without pay)
Funeral/bereavement leave
Unauthorized absence time
Unearned/executive leave
Vacancies
Other
D. Total days leave per year
E. Total available workdays per year (Subtract Line D from Line C)

Shift relief factor:

Full-time-equivalent staff

F. SRF = Line B ÷ Line E
Other shift relief factors based on SRF for a 5-day post (assuming one shift = 8 hours):
G. 7-day post, one 8-hour shift: (Line F X 7) ÷ 5
H. 7-day post, 8-hour shifts, 24-hour continuous coverage: Line G X 3
I. 7-day post, one 10-hour shift: (Line F X 10) ÷ 8
J. 7-day post, one 12-hour shift: (Line G X 12) ÷ 8
K. 7-day post, 12-hour shifts, 24-hour continuous coverage: Line 28 X 2

|

213

Form D: Post Evaluation and Planning Instrument
Part 1. Current Post Plan
Post
1

Attributes
2

Function

3

Rank

4

Priority

Officers per Shift
5

Number
of days

6

Office
hours

7

8

9

Day shift,
8 hours

Evening
shift,
8 hours

Night
shift,
8 hours

Computation

10

11

12

Day shift,
12 hours

Night
shift,
12 hours

10-hour
over­
lapping

13

Other

14

15

Shift
Meal/
relief
break
required? required?

16

17

18

Total
staff per
24 hours

Current
SRF
(per shift)

Rec.
number
FTEs

Command posts
Major
Security Captain
Lieutenant: Shift
Lieutenant: Operations
Lieutenant
Administrative
Sergeant: Shift
Sergeant ABCD
Sergeant EFGH
Sergeant IJKL
Sergeant: Support Services
Sergeant: Activity
Sergeant: Work Crews
Total Command
Correctional Officer posts
Main control
Armory, keys, restraints, fire
Property
Perimeter
Main gate
Vehicle sallyport
Transportation coordination
Transportation unit
Mail and property
Kitchen
Clinic
Commissary
Visitation
Education, vocational training
Yard
Escort
Work crew
Housing Officer A Unit
Housing Officer B Unit
Housing Officer C Unit
Housing Officer D Unit
Housing Officer F Unit
Admin. seg./disciplinary unit

|

Total Correctional
Officers

215


BLANK FORMS

Housing Officer E Unit

Form D: Post Evaluation and Planning Instrument
Part 2. Recommended Post Plan
Post
19

Attributes
20

21

Attached
Mod./
Code
Function

22

Rank

Officers per Shift
23

Priority

24

Number
of days

Computation

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

Office
hours

Day
shift,
8 hours

Evening
shift,
8 hours

Night
shift,
8 hours

Day
shift,
12 hours

Night
shift,
12 hours

10-hour
over­
lapping

32

Other

33

34

35

Shift
Meal/
Total
relief
break
staff per
required? required? 24 hours

36

37

Rec. SRF
(per
shift)

Rec.
number
FTEs

Command posts
Major
Security Captain
Lieutenant: Shift
Lieutenant: Operations
Lieutenant
Administrative
Sergeant: Shift
Sergeant ABCD
Sergeant EFGH
Sergeant IJKL
Sergeant: Support Services
Sergeant: Activity
Sergeant: Work Crews
Total Command
Correctional Officer posts
Main control
Armory, keys, restraints, fire
Property
Perimeter
Main gate
Vehicle sallyport
Transportation coordination
Transportation unit
Mail and property
Kitchen
Clinic
Commissary
Visitation
Education, vocational training
Yard
Escort
Work crew
Housing Officer A Unit
Housing Officer B Unit
Housing Officer C Unit
Housing Officer E Unit
Housing Officer F Unit

|

Admin. seg./disciplinary unit

217

Total Correctional
Officers

BLANK FORMS

Housing Officer D Unit

BLANK FORMS

Form E: Recommended Post Modification
Instructions: Enter the post to be modified. If the change affects the characteristics of the post, enter the current characteristic in
the “From” row and the recommended modification in the “To” row. To explain any modification to the post, enter
the modification code from the key at the bottom of the form and enter narrative in the space provided.
Name of Facility

Area of Prison

Name of Analyst

Date

Interviewee

Specification of Posts

Attributes

Shifts

Relief

Post to be Modified

Function

Rank

Priority

Number
of days
filled

Office
hours

Day
8
hours

Evening
8
hours

Night
8
hours

Day
12
hours

Night
12
hours

10 hour

Other

Shift
relief

Meal/
break

From
To
Mod.
Code

Comments

(See table below for modification codes.)
Mod.
Code

Comments

(See table below for modification codes.)
Mod.
Code

Comments

(See table below for modification codes.)
Mod.
Code

Comments

(See table below for modification codes.)
Mod.
Code

Comments

(See table below for modification codes.)
Modification Code Key:
A. Characteristics/
Functions
A1
A2
A3
A4
A5
A6
A7

-

Function
Rank
Priority
Days filled
Shift
Relief
Meals

B. Workload
B1 - Schedule
B2 - Activities
B3 - Programs
B4 - Movement
B5 - Documentation
B6 - Other

C1
C2
C3
C4
C5
C6

-

C. Safety

D. Inmates

Backup
Equipment
Technological
Physical plant
Sight lines
Other

D1
D2
D3
D4
D5

-

Number
Gender
Custody
Special
Other

E. Special
E1
E2
E3
E4
E5
E6

-

Screening
Testing
Training
No rotation
Scheduling
Relation to other post

F. Issues
F1 - Contract
F2 - Union
F3 - Court

G. Post
G1
G2
G3
G4
G5
G6

-

Delete
Add
Civilianize
Contract
Pull/collapse
Change duties

|

219

BLANK FORMS

Form F: Total Staff Required and Total Cost by Security Rank
A
Security Rank

B

C

D

Total FTE
Staff Needed

Average Salary
Plus Benefits ($)

Total Cost by
Classification ($)

Major
Captain
Lieutenant
Sergeant
Correctional Officer
Total
FTE = full-time equivalent

|

221

A PPE ND IX C

SAMPLE DESCRIPTION
OF A DEPARTMENT OF
CORRECTIONS AND
ITS FACILITIES

Appendix C. Sample Description of a Department of
Corrections and Its Facilities
Agency Security and Custody Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .225

Facility Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .226

Facility Designs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .230

Current Relief Factor Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .231

Problems With Facility Operations in the Past Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .231

Issues To Be Addressed by the Staffing Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .232


APPENDIX C

Sample Description of a Department of
Corrections and Its Facilities
Located in the Midwest, the Generic Department of Corrections (DOC) is a
division of the state’s Department of Public Safety. The department operates five
correctional facilities with a combined operational capacity of 5,618. The average
daily population (ADP) of inmates for the entire department during the past 12
months was 6,163 (610 women and 5,553 men). The characteristics of the depart­
ment’s correctional facilities are described in detail below. Although the depart­
ment is not currently operating under a court decree, a previous case (Someone v.
State) relates to conditions of confinement, staffing levels for mental health and
medical staff, and programming space for female prisoners.

Agency Security and Custody Levels
The security levels of the DOC facilities are rated according to standard security
parameters: perimeter security, existence and operation of watch towers, external
patrols, perimeter detection devices, and housing configuration and construction.
The institutional security rating scale includes maximum, close, medium, and
minimum. Security procedures and restraints are administered by policy to reduce
risk accordingly.
Prisoners are classified according to objective instruments that consider severity
and extent of criminal history; severity and frequency of institutional misbehavior;
stability factors (age, education, employment history, and substance abuse), and
participation in institutional work/programming. Based on their scores, prisoners
are assigned a custody level. The DOC houses its male prisoner population ac­
cording to custody level, and housing assignments are designed to keep male pris­
oners of different custody levels separate from one another as much as possible.
In the women’s institution, however, medium-custody prisoners may be housed
with either close- or minimum-custody prisoners. Maximum-custody and special
population females are housed separately. The special needs of some prisoners,
male and female, override their classification scores, and they are housed sepa­
rately. Special needs prisoners include those who require safekeeping, persons
with chronic and acute medical conditions, those with mental illnesses (including
suicidal tendencies), those who require protection from other prisoners, and those
in disciplinary segregation.

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225

APPENDIX C

Exhibit 1. Profile of Correctional Facilities in the Generic Department of Corrections
Characteristic
Operational capacity
Average daily population
Security level
Year opened

Facility 1

Facility 2

Facility 3

1,358

630

2,432

1,413

832

2,489

Maximum

Medium

Close

Medium

1998

1968

1998

1991

Facility 4
710
819

Facility 5
488
610
Maximum
1962

Inmate housing (%)
Single cells

4%

5%

35%

10%

15%

Double cells

55%

25%

40%

33%

35%

Dorm beds

41%

70%

25%

57%

Total institutional staff

466

223

Male security

301

Female security

100

50%

710

266

248

163

428

185

42

36

147

38

149

Population characteristics
Average age (years)

33.4

Gender

Male

33.5

34.5

Male

Male

32.4
Male

36.2
Female

Medical (beds)

56

10

76

10

40

Mental health (beds)

34

6

12

6

26

Custody level (%)
Minimum

10%

50%

25%

50%

Medium

15%

50%

25%

50%

35%
50%

Close

55%

0%

50%

0%

10%

Maximum

20%

0%

0%

0%

5%

Critical incidents (12 months)
Prisoner-staff assaults

77

2

14

1

17

Officer injuries

41

0

7

0

1

Suicide attempts

10

1

3

0

7

Suicides

1

0

0

0

0

Escapes

0

0

0

2*

0

Attempted escapes

0

0

0

0

2

213

12

115

9

14

Prisoner fights
Prisoner injuries
Disciplinary reports
Dangerous contraband

216

4

54

3

1

3,109

1,144

5,737

1,126

1,055

195

2

107

4

3

* Two prisoners walked away from a community-based work assignment. They returned the following day.

Facility Characteristics
Exhibit 1 summarizes the characteristics of the five facilities operated by the
DOC. Each facility is described in more detail below. Services, activities, and
programs common to all facilities include the following:

226

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■	

Prisoners receive food, laundry, mail, commissary, health care (by contract
with prison medical services), and mental health services and have access to
telephones and recreational activities, among other services.

■	

Facilities provide equipment for shaving and regular haircuts and, for female
prisoners, cosmetology equipment.

S A M P L E D E S C R I P T I O N O F A D E PA R T M E N T O F C O R R E C T I O N S A N D I T S FA C I L I T I E S

■	

All facilities hold Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA),
and parenting programs among their individual offerings.

■	

In each facility, two full-time chaplains and numerous volunteers provide reli­
gious services. Religious services, activities, and counseling are offered as well
as religious literature.

Facility 1
The mission of this maximum-security facility is to house all custody levels of
male prisoners and to serve as the intake and reception center for male prisoners.
A small cadre of minimum- and medium-custody prisoners are responsible for
institutional maintenance, kitchen services, and landscaping. Prisoners are physi­
cally separated by custody level and status (intake versus general population). The
facility has medical and mental health units that serve both the intake and general
populations. Because it is the reception and diagnostic center, occasionally of­
fenders will be placed there for safekeeping and/or a psychological assessment.
Ten prisoners currently in the facility have been diagnosed with HIV; however,
they are integrated into the general population. During the past 12-month period,
2,306 male prisoners were admitted through the reception center. The average
length of stay at this facility is 42 days for the reception population and 4.43 years
for the general population.
Additions to/variations from the services and programs common to all agency
facilities are as follows:
■	

Visitation is allowed through video, with the exception of attorney-client
visits. Intake prisoners cannot receive visitors until the classification process is
complete.

■	

Programming includes anger management and cognitive learning classes.

■	

Education is provided on a limited basis.

■	

All prisoners are assigned to a job or program.

Facility 2
The mission of this medium-security facility is to house general population
medium- and minimum-custody male prisoners. It provides work, education, and
programming for these prisoners, who are physically separated by custody level
and, to some extent, by work/program assignment (e.g., inside versus outside
work assignment, substance abuse treatment program, kitchen workers, honor
dormitory). This facility uses unit management, in which correctional officers
participate in the development of treatment plans for the prisoners. The few medi­
cal and mental health beds in the facility are not used for long-term mental health
services or chronically ill prisoners. Prisoners are required to have passes, but not
escorts, to move around within the facility. The average length of stay at this facil­
ity is 20.1 months.

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227

APPENDIX C

Additions to/variations from the services and programs common to all agency
facilities are as follows:
■	

This facility’s mental health services are provided by contract with Brighter
Horizons.

■	

Visitation hours are held twice a week: Wednesday evenings and Sunday
afternoons/evenings. Attorney-client visits are unlimited.

■	

Available programs include the Recovery Awareness Program (a 48-bed resi­
dential treatment program), Addiction Process Group Project, parenting classes,
sex offender treatment programming, and cognitive learning strategies.

■	

Adult basic education (ABE) and general equivalency diploma (GED) educa­
tion classes are offered.

■	

Vocational programs include furniture construction, auto mechanics, and smallengine repairs. This facility repairs and services all DOC vehicles.

■	

Work assignments include institutional maintenance/cleaning, landscaping,
and gardening. (The facility has a vegetable garden and an apple orchard.)
Work crews from this facility participate in public services works within the
community.

Facility 3
This high-security facility houses general population close-, medium-, and
minimum-custody male prisoners, who are physically separated by custody level.
Medical and mental health units serve the general population. Approximately
13 percent of the population receives daily medications for mental health and/or
medical conditions. During the past 12 months, the average length of stay at this
facility was 37.5 months.
Additions to/variations from the services and programs common to all agency
facilities are as follows:

228

|

■	

Visitation hours are held twice a week, Thursday evening and Saturday morn­
ing, via video and face-to-face meeting. All attorney-client visits are in person.
Prisoners on disciplinary segregation do not receive visits.

■	

Program delivery includes the Recovery Awareness Program (a 128-bed
residential treatment program) and anger management, sex offender treatment
programming, and cognitive learning classes.

■	

ABE and GED classes are offered.

■	

All prisoners are assigned to a job or program.

S A M P L E D E S C R I P T I O N O F A D E PA R T M E N T O F C O R R E C T I O N S A N D I T S FA C I L I T I E S

Facility 4
This medium-security facility houses general population medium- and minimumcustody male prisoners. Its mission, like that of facility 2, is to provide work, edu­
cation, and programming for male prisoners. Prisoners are physically separated
by custody level and, to some extent, by work/program assignment (e.g., inside
versus outside work assignment, substance abuse treatment program, kitchen
workers, and 32-bed honor dormitory). The few medical and mental health beds
are not used for long-term mental health services or for chronically ill prisoners.
Prisoners are required to have passes, but not escorts, to move around within the
facility. During the past 12 months, the average length of stay at this facility was
20.3 months.
Additions to/variations from the services and programs common to all agency
facilities are as follows:
■	

This facility’s mental health services are provided by contract with Brighter
Horizons.

■	

Visitation hours are held twice a week: Tuesday evenings and Sunday
afternoons/evenings. Attorney-client visits are unlimited.

■	

Programs include the Recovery Awareness Program (a 48-bed residential
treatment program), AA, NA, Addiction Process Group Project, parenting, sex
offender treatment programming, and cognitive learning strategies.

■	

ABE and GED classes are offered.

■	

Vocational programs include manufacturing of dental products and eyeglasses,
metalworking (e.g., signs, plates, etc. for the state and municipalities), and
farming (primary products are corn, beef, and dairy products).

■	

Work crews from this facility participate in public services works within the
community. Work assignments include institutional maintenance/cleaning,
landscaping, and vegetable gardening.

Facility 5
This maximum-security facility serves as the primary correctional facility for fe­
male offenders. (The department contracts for minimum-custody beds at the local
prerelease center.) The facility houses all custody levels and special populations
and serves as the intake and reception center for female prisoners. Prisoners are
physically separated by status (intake versus general population) but not by cus­
tody level. Maximum-custody inmates are housed separately, but medium-custody
inmates are housed with either close-custody or minimum-custody inmates. The
medical and mental health units serve both the intake and general populations. As
the reception and diagnostic center, the facility occasionally houses offenders for
safekeeping and/or psychological assessment. During the past 12 months, 383
female prisoners were admitted through the reception center, and the average
length of stay was 19.1 months.

|

229

APPENDIX C

Additions to/variations from the services and programs common to all agency
facilities are as follows:
■	

Visitation hours are held 3 days per week: Tuesday and Thursday evenings and
Sunday. Intake prisoners do not receive visits until the classification process is
complete.

■	

Programs include substance abuse treatment (48-bed residential treatment) bat­
tered woman/trauma-coping strategies, and life skills, anger management, and
cognitive learning classes.

■	

ABE and GED classes are offered.

■	

Vocational programs include automated telephone services for the Department
of Motor Vehicles, work in the sewing factory, guide dog training, and com­
puter programming and repairs. All prisoners are assigned to a job or program.

■	

Work crews from this facility participate in public services works within the
community. Work assignments include institutional maintenance/cleaning,
landscaping, and vegetable gardening.

Facility Designs
The department’s facilities follow three basic designs (attachments 1–3). Attach­
ment 1 represents the design for facilities 1, 3, and 4; attachment 2 is the design
for facility 2; and attachment 3 is the design for facility 5.1
Facilities 1, 3, and 4
The design of facilities 1, 3, and 4 is in a footprint bounded by six adjoining dou­
ble fences monitored by perimeter detection devices and breached with sallyports
in three places, one of which is the administration building. The area in which
the buildings are located is further enclosed with interior fences. The core houses
service and program areas, with the exception of industries and maintenance
shops, which are located in a fenced area adjacent to the main area of buildings.
The housing is podular, with each pod divided into six cellblocks and a recreation
area, all of which abut the control center. Each cellblock was designed with 16
cells, one occupant per cell. Each pod was designed to house 96 prisoners. The
population numbers exceeded that capacity before the state took occupancy. The
state waived chapter 33–8, which pertains to square footage per occupant, to allow
double bunking to accommodate the rising numbers of prisoners. Even with this
concession, the numbers rapidly increased beyond the doubled capacity.

1

Because this is a sample description, attachments are not shown and only the first design is described below. An
actual profile of an agency’s facilities would describe all facility designs and include the identified attachments.

230

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S A M P L E D E S C R I P T I O N O F A D E PA R T M E N T O F C O R R E C T I O N S A N D I T S FA C I L I T I E S

Example of a Housing Unit Assignment Plan for the Design of
Facilities 1, 3, and 4
Facilities 1, 3, and 4 house male prisoners.
■	

A Pod: This housing unit has a capacity of 190 beds designated for mediumcustody prisoners. Prisoners are not in their cells/unit for most of the day. They
are either working or assigned to programs.

■	

B Pod: This housing unit has a capacity of 186 beds that are separated into two
blocks of maximum-custody prisoners, three blocks of intake beds (including
glass-enclosed observation cells), and one block for disciplinary and protectivecustody prisoners. There is no out-of-cell activity other than showering and
exercising in a small fenced-in area outside, immediately adjacent to the pod.

■	

C Pod: This housing unit has a capacity of 190 beds that are separated into two
blocks of general population, one block of male trusties, one block for special
needs prisoners (including glass-enclosed observation cells), and two medical
blocks of mixed classifications. Prisoners in general population status and
trusties are in work assignments or programs during the day, while special
needs prisoners are occupied with intensive programming and highly super­
vised recreation.

■	

D Pod: This housing unit has a capacity of 190 beds that are separated into
four blocks of close-custody prisoners (intake population) and two blocks of
medium-custody prisoners.

Current Relief Factor Information
A shift relief factor has not been calculated for the agency or any of its facilities.
The rule of thumb in staffing for all agency facilities is that for 7-day coverage on
one shift, the requirement for staff is 1.7, but the agency has not been funded ac­
cording to that factor.

Problems With Facility Operations in the Past Year
The maximum-security facilities have experienced a rise in violence, both
prisoner-on-prisoner and prisoner-on-staff. Budget overruns are found throughout
the agency due to overtime, probably generated by overuse of sick leave, injury
leave, and light duty. A gradual increase in the prisoner population has resulted in
budget overruns in food, laundry, medical, and mental health services, particularly
for the women’s facility.
The Governor’s office has informed the department that there will be a 2-percent
reduction in the budget for the next two cycles.

|

231

APPENDIX C

Issues To Be Addressed by the Staffing Analysis
A security staffing analysis is required to address the budget cuts mandated by
the Governor’s office. At least $500,000 will need to be cut from the personal
services line to meet the Governor’s budget allocation. Staffing for housing and
transportation units will need to be carefully scrutinized to ensure that the safety
and security of the facilities are maintained.
The recent increase in violence and contraband within the maximum-security
facilities will have to be addressed by finding ways to enhance the efficiency and
effectiveness of staffing for preventing assaults. At the same time, the agency
administrator is committed to maintaining and even expanding the use of unit
management in all housing units.

Possible Attachments To Include With a Description of
Agency/Facility Characteristics
■ Copies of facility designs (floor plans)
■ Copy of agency’s mission statement, goals, objectives
■ Organization chart
■ Current staffing analysis report
■ Master and daily rosters
■ Schedules and cycles
■ Staff grievance summaries for each facility
■ Personnel agreements, union contracts
■ State and national standards
■ Copies of applicable court decisions
■ Annual inspection reports for each facility
■ Copies of service contracts in effect

232

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National Institute of Corrections

Advisory Board

Collene Thompson Campbell

Judge Sheryl A. Ramstad

San Juan Capistrano, CA

Minnesota Tax Court
St. Paul, MN

Norman A. Carlson
Chisago City, MN

Edward F. Reilly, Jr.

Jack Cowley

Chairman
U.S. Parole Commission
Chevy Chase, MD

Alpha for Prison and Reentry
Tulsa, OK

J. Robert Flores
Administrator
Office of Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, DC

Stanley Glanz
Sheriff, Tulsa County
Tulsa, OK

Wade F. Horn, Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services
Washington, DC

Harley G. Lappin
Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, DC

Colonel David M. Parrish
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Tampa, FL

Judge Barbara J. Rothstein
Director
Federal Judicial Center
Washington, DC

Jeffrey L. Sedgwick
Assistant Attorney General
Office of Justice Programs
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, DC

Reginald A. Wilkinson, Ed.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Ohio College Access Network
Columbus, OH

B. Diane Williams
President
The Safer Foundation
Chicago, IL

U.S. Department of Justice
National Institute of Corrections
Washington, DC 20534
Official Business
Penalty for Private Use $300
Address Service Requested

www.nicic.gov

MEDIA MAIL
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Permit No. G–231

 

 

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