As prepared for delivery
Commissioner Schiraldi Remarks – November BOC Meeting
- Good Morning Chair Jones-Austin and members of the Board. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to provide an update this morning.
- I know we have a number of items in the agenda and we’ll be sure to provide updates in all of those areas.
- As you know, we have a lot of work to do and no one here is happy with where we are, but I did want to spend this time to focus on some areas where we are starting to see some promising improvement.
- From a peak of 1,789 uniformed staff out sick on September 13 to 1,474 on Friday, 11/5, a decline of over 300 people.
- Looking at a trendline of our AWOL numbers, we’ve seen a reduction of 61% since September 1st.
- Along with a lot of staff redeployments, this has allowed us to largely isolate triples to AMKC among our five large facilities. This especially significant given that, in September, we reopened EMTC which required the deployment of hundreds of staff.
- This has also allowed us to reduce the number of unstaffed posts we have. Looking at that data, we’ve seen a trendline reduction of 53% since September 1st. We’ve seen even more promising numbers in the past week, including a day (11/2/21) where we had ZERO unstaffed posts.
- I want to also be clear that recently all of our unstaffed posts have been staffed by the end of each tour.
- And more help is on the way soon. 64 staff will graduate from our first class and start working in our facilities on December 27, and another 24 will graduate from our second class and start working on January 13th.
- Further, DCAS administered a Correctional Officers exam from October 27 – November 1 which 1,614 individuals passed. A new class including that 1,614 individuals will start training on December 16.
- We also continue to see promising improvements in our staff vaccination numbers as we continue to encourage all staff to get vaccinated.
- As of yesterday (11/8), 92% of our non-uniform staff have at least one dose, which is nearly a 20% point increase from just prior to the Mayor’s October 20th announcement.
- Additionally, 57% of our uniform staff have at least one dose, which is an increase of 10% or 778 staff since the Mayor’s announcement.
- That means that, in total, over 1,000 additional DOC staff now have at least one dose of the vaccine vs. before the Mayor’s 10/20 announcement.
- Regarding vendors and volunteers, 85% have provided documentation of vaccination, 4% have asked for reasonable accommodations, 11% have not provided documentation of vaccination and are therefore not allowed on site.
- Later in today’s presentation, CHS will provide some further good news about the significant decline in infection rates we’re seeing among incarcerated people.
- Having more staff return to work allows us to continue improving our service delivery. As the Board knows, a number of services were impacted throughout the pandemic, which we have worked hard to bring back in recent months.
- As you know, we resumed congregate religious services in a limited capacity in June, but expanded to full capacity in early July.
- Similarly, our in-person visits resumed in June, and we were able to complete over 7,000 visits since its reopening.
- We were additionally able to complete over 30,000 televisits since the start of the year, and we continue to make televisits an option for visitors who prefer that opportunity.
- We continue to produce people to court as the courts reopen and increase their capacity, and we’re committed to working through any remaining challenges with court production.
- We produced over 3,000 people to court in both September and October, which is a big increase from just earlier this year when we were producing fewer than a 1,000 people to court each month.
- Of course, we continue to facilitate virtual court appearances as well. We produced over 18,000 people to virtual court so far this year.
- That said, there’s no question that our staffing issues are affecting our ability to produce people to court. We know we have more work to do and we are very much committed to doing it.
- I also want to share some promising indicators we’ve seen in terms of our fights and use of force data going back to May.
- In that time, our use of force rate is down by 18%. The rate of use of force level A, which is a use of force that requires medical attention, is down 44%.
- The rate of fights among people in custody is also down by 11% from May.
- These data I just mentioned are all rates, not numerical totals.
- Overall, our jail population is down 2% since May and down 11% since our recent peak on September 13th.
Sexual Assaults on Staff:
- Lastly, I want to address the sexual assaults against our staff, both our uniform and non-uniform staff, and I thank the Board for adding this agenda item to this meeting.
- Any assault on staff, and any sexual assault, period, is unacceptable. I have no tolerance for it.
- We need our staff to feel safe at work, just like we need people in our care to feel safe in our facilities.
- Our staff deserve every right to feel safe and respected in their workplace.
- I know we have this on the next agenda item, but I want to turn it over to CoS Dana Wax right now to provide some updates on our work on this item specifically.