Corrections

Parole: Update on AR 100-39

Last week, four Parole Officers from across the state and WINS Field Director Hilary Glasgow met with Parole Director Melissa Roberts, Prisons Director Travis Trani, Chief HR officer Rick Thompkins and DOC Inspector General Jay Kirby to discuss, among other things, the changes to AR 100-39. 

If you want more details about the meeting and other Parole updates, contact Hilary Glasgow to find out how to join a conference call on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 6 pm.

In October, Parole officers reached out to Colorado WINS with their concerns about the AR, which did not discern Parole Officers from other officers within DOC.  This prompted fears of loss of protections and created the opening to deprofessionalize Parole Officers. 

In last week’s meeting, DOC executive staff said they adjusted the draft to better define and separate Parole Officers from other employees in DOC. Management read changes from their copy, which was not given to the WINS negotiating team, and Parole officers in attendance agreed that the newly adjust document addressed the concerns of WINS Parole members. The executive team said they adjusted the AR a few weeks back but wanted to meet with WINS members before releasing the new draft to make sure nothing was overlooked.

However, when the second draft of AR 100-39 came out, it didn’t spell out the difference between Parole Officers and Corrections Officers as described in the meeting. We will continue to push back on this issue to ensure there is a clear distinction for Parole Officers in the AR.

Cars, Guns, and Back Taxes

On Monday, The Denver Post published an article which detailed an internal state audit that found a large number of state employees may owe back taxes for driving a department car to commute to and from work.

WINS Executive Director Tim Markham has been in talks with Dept. of Personnel and Administration (DPA) and the Governor’s office and is advocating that state employees be held harmless for the state’s mistake. So far, all we know that the matters will be handled by each department individually (not through DPA), and will not be addressed until at least Spring of 2017.

For more updates about AR 100-39, the personal use of state vehicles and other Parole issues, contact Hilary Glasgow to find out how to join a conference call on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 6 pm.

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Colorado WINS statement on CCA’s Burlington prison closure

Colorado WINS has long advocated for the state disengaging from the private prison industry. It’s a morally indefensible industry and we shouldn’t use tax dollars to prop up parasitic business models.

These rural communities were sold a bill of goods: the prisons provide minimal jobs, with very low pay and dangerous working conditions. Hopefully some of the money saved from paying CCA is reinvested in real economic development for rural Colorado.

 

 

Read the Denver Post story here.

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State employees held harmless in worst budget in years

With last week’s passage of the Colorado state budget, state employees will maintain wage gains made over the past three years and see no increase in their health insurance premiums.

In a year when nearly every budget item faced cuts, Colorado WINS members were able to stave off any reductions to the paychecks of their coworkers. 

In fact, we were able to hold the line on several proposals, including: full funding for Health/Life/Dental premiums, full funding for the state’s PERA contributions and keep $1 million in funding for staffing at the Dept. of Youth Corrections. 

As I’ve explained in previous emails, although state workers did not receive a raise this year, lack of cuts means that state workers have fared fairly well in a bleak budget year threatened by mandatory TABOR spending.

On a brighter note, although there was no state-issued raise this year, members organized to put pressure on University of Colorado Boulder administration and as a result nearly 500 low-wage CU-Boulder employees received a raise in February. So even in years when the state budget is bleak, members who organize and work together can still achieve wage victories.

 

Other news from the Capitol

While some members of the legislature threatened to cut nearly 100 positions from the state payroll by dismantling the Clean Air program, we successfully lobbied to keep the program and the positions fully funded.

One of the last amendments to make it into the budget gave $3 million to for-profit prison operator Corrections Corporation of America. Colorado WINS has long been opposed to our state doing business with a corporation that profits from incarceration. Now, in addition to our continued moral objections, we have released a statement denouncing the last minute bailout of CCA.

Below is the full statement:

“The for-profit prison industry is built on exploitation. They exploit our criminal justice system, they exploit their workers, they exploit the communities in which their facilities are located and they exploit Colorado taxpayers.

Unlike our state correctional facilities and professional correctional officers, for-profit prisons are not accountable to taxpayers. And they do not provide stable, community-building jobs – these are low-wage, low-security, high-turnover positions.

Colorado WINS has long stood publicly against the for-profit prison industry. This latest bailout is just one more example of why Colorado should extricate ourselves from this predatory and morally corrupt industry.”

We are still waiting to see what will happen with HB 16-1420, which deals with the Hospital Provider Fee. This bill has been a priority for Colorado WINS and we may need to take action to ensure this bill passes before the session ends next month.

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Press Release: Colorado WINS opposes subsidizing for-profit prisons

In light of a last-minute revision to Colorado’s state budget that hands $3 million to for-profit prison operator to Corrections Corporation of America to keep open its Kit Carson Correctional Center in eastern Colorado, Colorado WINS has released the following statement:

The for-profit prison industry is built on exploitation. They exploit our criminal justice system, they exploit their workers, they exploit the communities in which their facilities are located and they exploit Colorado taxpayers.

Unlike our state correctional facilities and professional correctional officers, for-profit prisons are not accountable to taxpayers. And they do not provide stable, community-building jobs – these are low-wage, low-security, high-turnover positions.

Colorado WINS has long stood publicly against the for-profit prison industry. This latest bailout is just one more example of why Colorado should extricate ourselves from this predatory and morally corrupt industry.

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In the news: Parole officers’ insight is important to policy decisions

Denver Post, April 2, 2016 | Parole officers’ insight is important to policy decisions

Re: “Colorado has reduced its prison population, but at what cost to public safety?,” March 20 news story; and “Prisoner reform shouldn’t take precedence over public safety,” March 22 editorial.

As the union that represents Colorado’s parole officers, we were alarmed and concerned with The Post’s news article and editorial about the unintended consequences of reforms at the Department of Corrections. The governor’s call for a review of parole policies is a welcome sign.

A partnership between management and parole officers will be critical to the success of this review. Our parole officers have a common interest with the Department of Corrections management: public safety. The insight and experience of frontline parole officers, who work with and monitor offenders on a daily basis, must be taken into account when making policy decisions that affect not only their jobs but also our community as a whole (more…)

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Official comments on DOC AR 1450-1 changes

Colorado WINS has submitted an official comment about the changing of Administrative Regulation 1450, currently up for review. The full text of the comment is below.

To whom it may concern,

We are submitting our official comments regarding proposed amendments to DOC Administrative Regulation 1450-01, currently up for review before implementation.

We request that all changes to AR1450-01 be placed on hold at this time. Given the importance of AR1450-01 to the day-to-day functioning of the department, the large number of changes proposed, and the lack of DOC staff input, this is the proper course of action.

These policy changes fall under the purview of the Governor’s Partnership Executive Order with DOC and as such these and all other new policies and policy changes should include Colorado WINS members, as representatives of the DOC classified staff, in the process of creation, amendment and implementation of policies.

Sincerely,
Colorado WINS CDOC Membership

If you have any questions or comments about the changes to AR 1450-01, please talk to your workplace Steward.

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In the news: Rough week for DOC

You may have seen the Department of Corrections pop up in the news these past few days, we certainly did. The Denver Post has published two stories detailing some questionable practices by the department.

The first story concerned a $280,000 settlement with a whistle-blower at DOC headquarters. These payouts can be disheartening to officers as they see money going out that could have been spent on making facilities safer. Even more concerning are the allegations against DOC. The former director of DOC’s Office of Planning and Analysis alleged the department was falsifying figures about the number of mentally ill people in solitary confinement and the number of inmates released from solitary directly back into their communities. She also alleged that DOC simply renamed programs they are trying to phase out in order for their numbers to match their reports.

The second story details the (more…)

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Colorado’s Parole Officers disillusioned with system, management

Today Colorado WINS is posting the complete results of the survey we conducted of Parole Officers in March. You can read the report below.

It is an an eye-opening read as it presents the unedited opinions of Parole Officers on a range of topics, including compensation, retention and treatment at work.

Now that we’ve made your issues heard it is time for us to get to work on finding and implementing solutions.

That’s not work we can do by ourselves – it will require us working in good faith through Partnership with the Division of Parole and the Department of Corrections. We also need to make sure that our membership remains strong to show our unity in tackling these issues.

This report is not the end of a process, but rather the beginning. We have a lot of work ahead of us but I am confident that working through Partnership with DOC we can arrive at solutions that address your issues, improve the Division and ensure public safety.

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DOC Partnership Team elections

Colorado WINS members in the Dept. of Corrections are are electing a Partnership Team to meet with DOC management to discuss issues throughout DOC in hopes of finding solutions that improve working conditions.

We are currently accepting nominations for the Partnership Team. To nominate yourself or others, please fill out the form here.

The Partnership Team will meet monthly and will consist of eight Colorado WINS representatives:

  • two positions will be officers from Canon City/Pueblo correctional facilities
  • two positions will be officers from outlying facilities (not Canon City or Pueblo)
  • two positions will be from parole and
  • two positions will be filled by specific non-security work groups (i.e. mental health, admin, food service, case manager, medical, teacher/librarian)

Nominations will continue through August 15 and elections will take place between Aug. 25 and Sept. 12.

Only Colorado WINS members can vote in elections, but you can join and vote the same day. Each member can vote only once, either in person or online.

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Changes to overtime payout in DOC

Last year, due to the hard work of our Corrections Members, the legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 210, which put an end to the 28-day work period and improved overtime pay for Corrections Officers (COs). This year, the Dept. of Corrections changed their interpretation of when overtime payment is due to COs.

DOC will now pay overtime after 8.5 hours, if you work 12 or more consecutive hours in one shift. Previously, DOC was paying overtime on hours worked in excess of 12 in a 24-hour period, when those hours accrued during non-consecutive shifts.

Despite this change, COs will still receive close to $2 million in overtime pay this fiscal year. That is $2 million worth of work they were not being paid for a year ago.

Here are the other details you need to know about SB 210 and your overtime rights in DOC.

  • The new 14-day work period is in effect and Corrections Officers will still receive overtime for any hours worked in excess of 85 during that 14-day work period.
  • COs will still receive overtime for working 12 or more consecutive hours.
  • COs will still be getting paid for overtime and will not be forced to take comp time.
  • Members will continue to work with DOC through partnership to implement a new timekeeping and scheduling system in order to ensure Correctional Officer safety as well as fairness in the system.

(more…)

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