DOC Fact Sheet: Staffing and Efforts to Improve Conditions

Without enough staff available to work, its increasingly difficult for the Department to provide minimum services and maintain safety within the facilities. This isn't an issue of under hiring; it's about staff being available to work.. On January 1st, 2014, DOC incarcerated 11,000 people and employed 9,000 uniformed staff. Today we incarcerate 6,000 people and employ 8,400 uniformed staff. While it’s true that we have lost some staff, we’ve had a 46% decline in incarcerated people and only a 7% decline in staff. 

Staffing Challenges:

1.    Out Sick*
       o    In July 2021, the average daily number of uniformed personnel out sick was 1,488.
             In comparison, in July 2019 that number was 538 and in July 2020 it was 700.
       o    In August 2021, the average daily number of uniformed personnel out sick was 1,416.
             In comparison, in August 2019 that number was 555 and in August 2020 it was 689.
2.    AWOL
       o    In July 2021, the average daily number of Correction Officers who were AWOL was 79.
             Compare that to 24 in July 2019 and 23 in July 2020.
       o    In August 2021, the average daily number of Correction Officers
             found to be AWOL was 93.
             Compare that to 22 in August 2019 and 29 in August 2020.
             There were a total of approximately 2,700 AWOL incidents in   August.
3.    Medically Monitored Staff (MMR3)
      (Note: Numbers as of last day of the month. MMR3s do not work with persons in custody.)
       o    In July 2021, the number of MMR3 uniform staff was 1,116
             Compare that to 522 in July 2019 and 740 in July 2020.
       o    In August 2021, the number of MMR3 uniform staff was 1,163.
             Compare that to 559 in August 2019 and 791 in August 2020.

4.    As of the morning of September 6, 31.45% of uniformed staff were unavailable to work with incarcerated people, severely impacting the rate at which their colleagues in uniform were forced to work triple shifts.

*NB: DOC uniformed staff have unlimited sick leave.


Shortly after Commissioner Schiraldi took office in June, we launched #NEWDAYDOC, a comprehensive set of targeted initiatives to increase staffing and safety. We are delivering on these initiatives, and have accomplished the following:

•    Adjusted schedules and placement of all available uniform staff to support facilities:
      o    All DOC staff have been returned from Horizon Detention Center.
      o    Realigned schedules of uniform staff working at HQ to provide additional facility weekend coverage.
    Scheduled a new Correction Officer Academy for October to onboard up to 600 correction officers and began recruiting staff who had left DOC in good standing within the last four years for reinstatement. The new recruit class will require 3-4 months of Academy training before being able to work in jails; some new recruit class will require only two weeks of retraining to work in jails.
    Scheduled a new Correction Officer Academy Exam for October to further assist with ongoing recruitment; the filing period is open now.
    Established a new process for calling out sick in partnership with Mt. Sinai to more quickly return staff to duty.
    Supported the heroic staff coming in every day working long tours:
      o    Providing meals to staff on doubles and triples.
      o    Offering free rides home and back to work to anyone who works into a triple.
      o    Created space in the Staff Wellness Center for staff to rest or sleep after long tours.
      o    Refurbished the GMDC staff garden to provide a restful place for staff to relax.
    Installed a total of 250 new cell doors at RNDC, with an additional 250 on the way.
•    Instituted a commissary ban for incarcerated people who commit violent infractions.
    Realigned disciplinary process to enable facilities to own accountability for lower-level staff misconduct.
    Improved communications with the District Attorney's Office resulting in several recent rearrests and indictments of incarcerated people who assaulted staff or other people in custody.
    Met with Judges and DAs in multiple boroughs to accelerate the cases of DOC's most violent incarcerated people.
    Reestablished the Young Adult Task Force which involves staff, community leaders, and BOC in the supporting young adults and reducing violence.
    Working with the Federal Monitor on a plan to post officers more effectively.
•    There is much more to do, but we are making every effort improve conditions.