A staffing assessment can be an important tool in your toolbox – but how do you know if it’s the right tool for you? You may need to perform a staffing assessment if one of these seven objectives applies to your facility or system:

1. Identifying/Projecting Appropriate Staffing Levels, Personnel Needs, and Costs

The most common objective of a staffing assessment involves identifying, projecting, and specifying the personnel needs and costs of staffing a correctional facility and program appropriately.  Making sure your facility is staffed correctly affects life safety, facility and community security, and your yearly operating budget. Making sure you have the right number and type of personnel in your correctional facility should be your top priority for ensuring effective facility operation. 

2. Modifying Staff Deployment to Improve Management and Control

Are staff members deployed in the proper locations and at the optimal time within the facility? As with many questions concerning correctional staffing requirements, the answer depends on the facility in question. A staffing study evaluates facility posts and, based on multiple factors specific to the facility and/or program, identifies if they are being prioritized appropriately to ensure safe and efficient operations. Correctional facilities and programs are not one size fits all, and neither are their staffing needs.

3. Documenting and Justifying Resource Needs

One of the biggest obstacles of budgeting and capital planning is being able to defend and justify resource needs. An independent staffing assessment helps you further evaluate those needs and arrive at staffing decisions that are purposeful, informed, and defendable. The research and findings gathered during the assessment arms you with the comprehensive, accurate data you need to properly support your resource goals and objectives.

4. Assessing System Risks and Identifying Necessary Security Improvements

Do your institutional rosters and deployment practices enable facilities to operate in a manner consistent with their institutional missions, Department policy, and accepted principles of correctional management? Are additional posts required to improve security or facility operations? Performing a staffing assessment will identify risks and provide clarity.

5. Reducing Staff Overtime

In addition to being costly, excessive overtime can lead to job dissatisfaction among personnel and, eventually, resignations. The best way to reduce overtime is to implement a well-thought out post plan. A staffing study lays the framework for intelligent post planning. By analyzing multiple factors – e.g., current staffing levels, normal operating practices – the post plan helps define acceptable levels of overtime utilization and identify possible remedies or resources at your disposal.

6. Improving Personnel Effectiveness

A professional assessment of your correctional staffing may reveal that important elements are missing or in need of modification, which can profoundly impact the effectiveness of personnel. A staffing study may identify an inefficiency or area of weakness that can be remedied through additional staff training or resolved completely through the introduction of new technology, thus freeing up staff for more critical responsibilities or post assignments.

7. Saving Money

The most expensive part of running a correctional facility over the course of its life is the cost of personnel. Changes in factors affecting staffing requirements, such as classification levels, inmate programs, or institutional mission, may require modifications in staff deployment or policies to ensure the most efficient and effective use of resources. Over time, distortions in staffing practices may develop. Without regular staffing reviews, these distortions can grow to have profound consequences on the efficiency of your personnel, safety of operations, and your bottom line. That’s why even the most successful staffing policies and plans require ongoing review and analysis.

If one or more of the objectives above aligns with your current priorities, your facility or agency may benefit greatly from performing a staffing assessment. Interested in learning more about the assessment process or need help getting started? Reach out anytime – we’re always here to help: kmcginnis@CGLcompanies.com.

How do we know?

CGL’s corrections facility authority, Ken McGinnis, served for eight years as the Director of the Michigan Department of Corrections. As a Senior Vice President for CGL for the past four years, Ken has performed 16 staffing studies of local and state correctional facilities.

Meet the Author

55837 Reasons for Performing a Staffing Assessment

Kenneth McGinnis

Senior Vice President

Ken has more than 42 years of professional experience in the management of correctional institutions, programs and organizations and has spent the last 14 years providing consultation to correctional agencies and organizations across the U.S. His governmental responsibilities have ranged from the management and administration of all facets of the Illinois and Michigan correctional systems to serving as warden and directing the operations of maximum, medium, and minimum security adult institutions. Ken served as the chief administrative officer of two...