Skip to comments.CA: Prison system called bumbling, wasteful (Suhprize!! Suhprize!!)
Posted on 06/06/2003 11:09:39 AM PDT by NormsRevengeEdited on 04/13/2004 3:31:25 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
A pair of state Senate committees portrayed California's Department of Corrections on Thursday as a bumbling, wasteful giant that relies heavily on hundreds of temporary workers even as it pays full salary and benefits to dozens of employees who never come to work.
(Excerpt) Read more at bayarea.com ...
Paging John Ashcroft.. John Ashcroft.. Red courtesy phone.
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State prison system blasted as wasteful by Senate panels - AP Sacramento
SACRAMENTO A pair of state Senate committees yesterday portrayed California's Department of Corrections as a bumbling, wasteful giant that relies heavily on hundreds of temporary workers even as it pays full salary and benefits to dozens of employees who never come to work.
In a dramatic three-hour hearing, several exasperated senators threw out words such as "abominable," "incredulous" and "a racket" to describe a variety of practices by chiefs of the nation's largest prison system. Those include rehiring corrections retirees with new salaries and even unemployment insurance to supplement their pensions.
Nearly 50,000 employees work at California's 33 penal institutions, supervising almost 160,000 inmates.
Chief among Senate criticisms yesterday was the practice of paying salaries and benefits to employees accused of misconduct and no longer working, sometimes for months and years, while staff investigators probe allegations against them.
Committee members also questioned agency plans to lay off 16 of those investigators and close one of their offices, even as one accused prison employee has been on paid leave for almost three years.
The CDC says it will save $127,000 by closing its investigations office in Rancho Cucamonga and moving most of its employees to Bakersfield.
Senators also asked corrections officials about claims that the department is closing the office that probed officer-involved inmate shootings at Corcoran State Prison and sexual misconduct at the California Institute for Women because of its role in the investigations.
David Tristan, a chief deputy director of the department, said the closing was a cost-cutting move. "The issue of w hether the southern office did more high-profile cases or angered anybody never came into the discussion," he said.
Sens. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on the California Correctional System, and Jackie Speier, D-Daly City, who chairs a Senate committee on government oversight, promised a new hearing in two weeks to investigate other corrections issues.