Jail Staffing Analysis

Jail Staffing Analysis

The Clatsop County Sheriff's Office contracted with the National Sheriff's Association to review current staffing levels at the Clatsop County Jail, including:

  • Assessing the present staffing levels and operational practices,
  • Reviewing the processes and staffing for prisoner medical transports, prisoner transports to court and in-court security,
  • Analyzing the facility layout, flow of operations, deployment of staff, and associated matters.

The complete Jail Staffing Analysis report is available in PDF format.

Executive Summary

Findings

Clatsop County operates a 65-bed detention facility at a capacity of 60 inmates. The County has maintained the facility at it’s capacity by regularly holding approximately 20 prisoners in the Tillamook County Jail, by operating county-level community corrections programs and by funding the Sheriff’s Office offender work program.

Presently, the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division is staffed by a Jail Administrator, six supervisors, and 14 corrections deputies. One additional deputy is permanently assigned to the court for the security of court spaces and court employees and is not included in the full complement of 21 deputy listed in this report. The staff primarily works in three eight-hour shift teams with two supervisors and four deputies on each team. There are two work crew deputies who are assigned to 4-ten hour shifts per week covering seven days of the week with one overlapping day. The jail administrator works in an administrative position five days a week.

Each shift is assigned to staff a minimum of four posts – master control room, intake room, and two inmate housing area posts. The supervisor is required to assume a working post and deputies are required to conduct local transports of inmates to medical and dental appointments and court hearings. Detention facility deputies are also required to guard prisoners during court proceedings. Because of days off, sick time, vacations and personal times and other off-duty times there are rarely enough deputies available to staff the four detention facility positions.

The supervisors arrange for overtime when there are less than four persons available for a shift. The work crew deputies arrange for their own relief or cancel a shift if one of them is absent. The patrol division assigns one deputy to long distance corrections transports and other patrol deputies perform this service when necessary.

The inmates are housed in close quarters, cells and dayrooms, with little opportunity for exercise or activities. There is a multipurpose room and a rooftop exercise area but a lack of staffing inhibits the regular use of these spaces. There is a contract with the county health department for nursing services - for an 8-hour shift, 5 days a week and on-call on weekends. Prisoner meal preparation and commissary are also contracted with little involvement by staff in these services.

Recommendations

The corrections staff should be increased from 21 to 32 persons with the addition of five corrections deputies, five control room technicians and one clerical support person. The seven day – 365 days a year posts should be increased from 4 facility posts per shift to five posts. These posts include, at a minimum, one supervisor post, one master control post, one Intake post, and two inmate housing/direct supervision posts. There should also be the addition, for five days a week, of two prisoner court security deputies, two work crew deputies and one clerical support person.

The supervisor position should be a separate post allowing the on-duty sergeant or corporal to be free to move around the facility observing deputies performing their functions and assisting them solving problems. The sergeants and corporals should be scheduled to ensure that a supervisor is on duty at all times reducing the use of senior deputies as designated supervisors.

The inmate housing posts should be maintained at all times – two posts on the day and afternoon shifts and one post on the night shift. These deputies may assist the booking deputy during certain situations but they should not be sent to court for security of prisoners or sent on local transportations outside the facility. In conjunction with locating these deputies in the facility, every effort should be made to increase activities for inmates. The multipurpose room should be used for library time, addiction program groups or individual education sessions. The outdoor exercise area should be renovated to allow inmates an hour a day exercise every day of the week regardless of the weather.

The booking post should be designated as a full-time position managing the intake area and assisting the master control post. The master control post is often much more than a one-person position. The booking deputy should be available to assist the deputy or control room technician in master control with visiting, walk-up traffic, high call periods and report processing.

The work crew deputies should be scheduled eight hours a day, five days a week. This would allow them more overlap to relieve each other, but, at the same time, other deputies should be used for relief during long absences by the designated work crew deputies.

A clerical support person should be assigned to the Corrections Division on a permanent basis to assist the jail administrator, the master control deputy and the booking deputy with report processing, maintaining inmate records, calculating inmate fund accounts, conducting property inventories and other data collection.

There should be two new posts designated for the security of prisoners in court hearings. These deputies should be assigned to work five days a week, eight hours per day with no relief for weekends. These deputies could also be used for the relief of the work crew deputies and other day posts and local transports ensuring that in-house facility deputies are not used for court security. Presently, the in-house facility deputies leave the jail housing area to perform this function which exposes the agency to safety and security problems.

The major causes for the recommended increase in staff are (1) the relief factor calculation, (2) the requirement of keeping the inmate housing/direct supervision deputies in the cell block area and not allowing them to be assigned temporarily outside the facility on local transports or court security and (3) freeing the supervisor from an operational post.