The Department of Correction's recruiting efforts include increasing officers' starting salary to $43,000 and offering a bonus of $3,000 for new officers who graduate from the academy and stay with the department for at least two years.

With the objective of updating officer staffing needs at Delaware’s largest maximum security correctional facility, the Delaware Department of Correction has completed the Department Staffing Analysis Team study for the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center northeast of Smyrna.

The staffing analysis team was trained and worked within the guidelines established by the National Institute of Corrections Staffing Analysis Model, according to a Department of Correction press release June 29.

The report recommends funding for an additional 137 positions in various classifications in the correctional officer series. With 224 current officer vacancies, the Department of Correction will continue to strengthen officer recruitment and retention efforts. The department will not seek additional new positions until the fiscal year 2020 budget submission or until the vacancy level reaches 50 or fewer positions. For fiscal year 2020, the department expects to request 68 positions. Additional positions will be requested in future fiscal years.

The estimated cost for all 137 of the recommended positions is $4,059,482. This amount includes new officers authorized and funded in the fiscal year 2019 budget.

The department’s enhanced recruiting efforts include:

•Increasing officers’ starting salary to $43,000;

•Implementing a career ladder and new promotional standards;

•Offering an incentive signing bonus of $3,000 for new officers who graduate from the academy and stay with the department for at least two years;

•Offering a referral bonus of $1,000 to existing officers who refer a recruit who graduates from the academy and stays with the department for at least two years;

•Hiring two full-time recruiters.

"I’m thankful to the members of the DSAT team who meticulously completed this months-long process," said Department of Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps. "This information will provide a roadmap for ensuring our resources are deployed most efficiently and effectively. I’m proud of the DOC family and the work they perform daily."

The staffing analysis members worked through a systematic evaluation of what work must be performed, 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. A combination of task analysis, time/motion study, and productivity auditing provide the frame work for conducting staffing analysis for corrections.

Six steps are involved in the staffing analysis process:

1. Create the institutional profile: research all the facility factors that influence staffing including security level, programs and design.

2. Activity charting: conduct and document a time/motion study for every institutional activity that happens on a regular basis to include counts, meals, visits, sick call, commissary, education, etc.

3. Post evaluations: conduct a study of every security post in the facility, review all post orders for each post, analyze required staffing per order and duties and assignments required and accomplished. This allows the team to review the existing post plan and make recommendations for an updated post plan.

4. Calculate the shift relief factor: determine the availability of staff to work by reviewing leave and absence records to define how many staff must be available on a given shift to cover every post in the facility.

5. Develop a post chart: perform staffing calculations to determine the number of staff required to operate the facility.

6. Develop final report: combine all data and present recommendations based on the study conducted.