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Annual turnover rate is 90% in TDCJ's private prisons

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Amongst the interesting statistics in the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee's interim report on private prisons (PDF), was the shocking statistic that TDCJ-contracted private prisons have a 90% annual staff turnover rate.  The report also presented numbers on differences in guard pay between public and private facilities.

"The wages and benefits paid to employees of private contractors are generally lower than that paid to employees of state-operated facilities... Correctional officer salaries in the private prisons vary among facilities, with the highest peaking at slightly more than $24,000 annually."

For comparison to this figure, TDCJ Director Brad Livingston told the Austin American Statesman ("Big raises sought for prison workers," August 14) that starting pay for correctional officers in public facilities is $26,016, and the maximum salaries range from $34,624 to $42,242. This means the lowest-paid TDCJ guard's annual salary is $2,000 more than the highest-paid guard at TDCJ-contracted private prisons.

This probably contributes to the high turnover at private facilities noted in the report:           

During FY 2008 the correctional officer turnover rate at the seven private prisons was 90 percent (60 percent for the five privately-operated state jails), which in either case is higher than the 24 percent turnover rate for TDCJ correctional officers during FY 2008.

It's hard to understand how ANY organization can operate with 90% staff turnover.


It's easy to understand how these people can run an organization with a 90% turnover, as long as as the public continues to ignore the problem, which is inadequate pay to experienced prison guards, the prisons will continue to hire poorly trained and a lower class of employee at a lower rate of pay. After all who cares? It's just our safety that's at stake. The Public in general is at fault for this dilemma. We the people give no thought to the care and management of offenders after the convictions and therefore cannot justify adequate pay to the officers who are entrusted to carry out the courts orders.

I work at pvt jail  . I had to take a 2 week  TDCJ pre service class ( it was a joke ) and now im on the  floor . The management is a joke where i work . A county jail does not need a warden ( tdcj inmates housed there or not )

I am fed up with the bullshit tactics and SOME of the part time tdcj bosses .  My captain is a retired tdc boss ( 30 years ) and he thinks this way " If you don't do it my way , you won't make it in corrections ANYWHERE " .  I am so tierd of this bullshit . This job is a bullshit job but , i can't quit .


All leadership is bullshit


I spent 3 years in AdSeg at Eastham in Lovelady.  I achieved my CO IV after 2 1/2 years.  I'd had my fill of being chunked on from the A Line offenders (the worst cases).  I petitioned repeatedly for a transfer to a minimum security position anywhere in NE TX.  During my tenure, I was always told that I could obtain a transfer anywhere I desired.  But my several months of petitions only ever got me the response of "there're no openings" or "the warden (Bell) is not allowing anyone to leave" (because of personnel shortages requiring beaucoup mandatory overtime).

TDCJ was more than willing to let me leave (I turned in 5 full cycles of notice near the end of May, 2013, leaving on July 10, 2013)  Even the region 1 assistant director told me there was nothing to be done when I petitioned for his help in obtaininig a transfer.  I would rather have stayed, than to be forced to leave (being refused a transfer I REALLY needed), giving up 3 years of my life to them.

I'm willing to come back, as a CO IV, if they'll give me the transfer that I want.  I have no proof at all, but I KNOW that I was skipped over, by 2 "emergency" transfers while I waited over 2 years for a transfer to the Eastham Trusty camp.

I do not want to be forced into the retirement program again, either.  I want all my previous retirement returned to me, as I was told, upon initial hire, that I had no choice but to participate therein.  I also have a very old student loan that is threatening to garnish my wages of I get any job at all.  I REFUSE  to pay their usurious interest that is more than 25 years old; I am more than willing to have a payroll deduction (NOT a garnishment!) of $158.31 monthly taken and sent to them, and to pay back a total of $28, 750.  I REFUSE TO PAY BACK THE $550 MONTHLY AND $220 THEY ARE DEMANDING, AND I ALSO REFUSE TO HAVE MY PAY GARNISHED TO ANY AMOUNT, AT ALL, EVER!

Thank you.