Staffing Analysis Update: Addressing Staffing and Safety Issues at DPSCS Institutions

After nearly 2 years, a long-delayed analysis of staffing issues at Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) institutions will be wrapping up at the end of January and results should be available shortly after.

This past summer, outgoing DPSCS Secretary Robert Green committed to working with AFSCME local presidents representing correctional staff across Maryland to complete this staffing analysis.

The study comes in two parts: an analysis of how many work hours are needed to fill a single 24 hour post and another analysis on what posts are necessary and what their security levels should be.

For the first analysis, DPSCS contracted with an outside firm to study relief factors, staffing levels, sick leave, and FMLA levels in order to determine the number of work hours needed to fill one 24 hour post. This work is nearing completion, and we will be able to review their findings soon.

For the second part of the study, DPSCS agreed to allow AFSCME local presidents and one officer per institution go from post to post in each institution to observe which posts are necessary and what proper security levels should be. It’s no surprise that many correctional institutions under report their needed posts and fill many of those slots with Special Assignment Posts (SAP) every single shift. In addition, some posts are more critical than others, so all of this information must be negotiated and recorded correctly so that officers are only drafted when necessary and facilities remain secure and safe for both staff and inmates or detainees.

The AFSCME team that has been working on the staffing analysis has been working tirelessly around the clock to get the information we need. They have been visiting facilities across the state and going to every shift at each location to observe the post, determine how accurate the Post Assignment Worksheets (PAW) are, and whether it conforms with directives and post orders. They have even been visiting the facilities that sometimes get missed like Transportation Units and Annexes. In their visits, they’ve been incredibly thorough and have even observed dangerous ways that institutions have been staffing themselves. They have these issues to the attention of the appropriate commissioners.

We’re looking forward to wrapping up the analysis soon. Once we have the results, we’ll transition to the hard job of negotiating solutions to these findings with DPSCS to ensure that new staffing plans are reflective and true of what is actually happening in institutions across the state and that staff and inmates/detainees are safe at each and every location.

Stay tuned for additional updates. In the meantime, if you are not an AFSCME member yet, you can join at and become part of the movement for higher pay and other workplace improvements.