During the town hall meeting on 3/4/21, Director Anne Precythe mentioned several times that the department is short staffed and has a hard time finding and retaining staff. Administration seems perplexed as to why that is or they want to blame the job in general. However, their own staff as well as many others continue to tell them what they can do and need to change to retain staff. What the department CAN do, but they don’t want to accept any responsibility or implement any changes to treat their own staff better.
Here’s a letter that a former corrections officer he sent to the wardens at the facility he worked at (MECC in Pacific, Missouri) when he gave them notice that he was leaving his job. Posted with his permission.
“Reasons for leaving department;
Health; When I was working 80 hours a week in January, I saw a increase of health problems, for starters, my cyst on my brain starting to swell, I was completely exhausted all the time, and I was depressed, angry, moody because of lack of sleep.
Higher Salary; My new job starts officers out at $18.50/hr. This includes yearly raises.
Safety and Security; This place is ran by people with under a year of service. You have FTOs that barely know what they’re doing. Take COI ******* for example. He tried to strip out offenders in the visiting room bathrooms (You know, the visitor ones, not the staff bathroom). I had to basically yell at him to turn around and find someone to unlock the offender change room. COI *** ***** was assaulted and no one noticed for 30 minutes. And then the DOC covered up like it never happened. Fired 2 employees for speaking out against the DOC on social media about it. How am I suppose to feel safe when you can’t trust your Administration Staff?
Overtime; It came in waves, it wasn’t so bad at the beginning. The biggest problem I have, is during a national pandemic, when overtime was at its all time high. In January, working 80 hours a week. You were given the opportunity to help Custody out by mandating non-custody. You decided, nah. You’d rather thin out the people that’s job is literally “Safety And Security” of the institution then hold some paper-pushers that could sit in a bubble? Its a joke.
Supervision; This one is my favorite. The promotions around here are a joke. There are people that absolutely don’t belong in those positions and the only reason they’re in that position is because they when up so many times that they were basically forced to promote them. There are Captains that don’t need to be Captains because well, they mess up their rosters constantly, they can’t keep track of who they let off and who they didn’t let off. The fact that a transportation schedule is made but not reflected on the roster (which is made by the same person) is so mind blowing, I honestly cannot believe this is actually happening in a “professional environment” I don’t know how many surprise outcounts I had to scramble to find people for because the shift commander was up in their office freaking out. Control Center runs a shift, not the shift commander, don’t let them lie to you.
Investigations / Discipline; The very fact that we don’t charge people for the crime they commit when doing this job absolutely blows my mind. You can have sex with immates, give them drugs, bring in phones, cigarettes, and its all you gotta do is resign? Where’s the punishment? Where are the charges? You understand giving these guys contraband makes our jobs harder? Drugs can kill people, can make immates lose their minds causing them to do harm to others. BUT WE ALLOW IT BECAUSE THEY DONT PROSECUTE. Disgusting.
I would not recommend this job to anyone. I loved my job, I was good at my job, I did my best when I was there. I helped where I could, I fixed ALOT of mistakes. I just cannot sit there and watch the dumpster fire that is MECC / DOC continue to burn while I sit inside of it.
I hope the best to you, but honestly, your hiring process, FTO process, is going to fail you”