Mounting overtime in prisons a crisis that needs sound judgement
Deputy Director John Borrowman unjustly slurred officers of the Nevada Department of Corrections by suggesting to Governor Sandoval that they are “feathering their nests” with unnecessary overtime. For the officers I knew, nothing could be further from the truth.
I retired from that department after 34 years. The grim reality was “mandatory overtime.” Officers nearing the end of a long day have plans: appointments to keep; family activities; friends to visit. Then the phone rings, and all of that is tossed into a cocked hat.
Officers have been “mandoed” and will be there for the next eight hours or face progressive discipline, up to termination. This happens over and over through the month, sometimes twice a week, causing tremendous stress. Some refuse and are fired; others burn out, resulting in sick leave or resignation, leaving more holes to fill.
Deputy Director Borrowman has shown he is disconnected from the department he is supposed to oversee. For example, the “mando list” is a hot button topic among officers — where they are on it; how close they are to the top of the list; how to get off it. His suggestion of not allowing overtime in the week an officer has been off will create a spike in sick leave, punishing officers who do not call in.
There are retired officers with decades of experience, from associate wardens on down. If Governor Sandoval is serious about solving overtime, he will empanel a commission and listen to people who know what they are talking about.