It is my understanding that the new Standardized Staffing Package for institutions is about to be released. This is (allegedly) a chiseled in stone program that the SecrAttorney, Matt Cate, is already claiming will save the state $1 billion in the current fiscal year in staffing costs, mostly custody.
There is, unfortunately, virtually no one in a position of real power in the puzzle palace on S Street (Headquarters for those of the uninitiated) who has any significant institution experience. Those that have seen this say (so I have been told) that it cuts the staff level at the institutions to a critical level leaving the custody division unable to respond to significant emergencies unless they just happen to take place in the middle of shift change.
I have yet to see the package, so I am, I admit, engaging in speculation. I don’t, however, believe it is idle or totally uninformed speculation. In fact, I hope my information is incorrect. I am, however, not betting on it. HQ has few correctional professionals on staff. Matt Cate is a lawyer, not a correctional professional. He is comfortable with lawyers and has surrounded himself with lawyers. They do not solicit input from institutions, do not accept input from institutions, and don’t seem to care much about the problems of institutions. They both believe and expect that all they have to do is issue an edict and it will be fully, immediately and SUCCESSFULLY implemented.
I hope that not too many people get too badly hurt proving them wrong.