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NCJ Number: 120667 Find in a Library
Title: Attracting and Selecting a Top-Notch Staff: The California Experience
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:51  Issue:7  Dated:(December 1989)  Pages:58,59,72,166
Author(s): C M Sanchez
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 4
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In the face of a major prison system expansion, the California Department of Corrections centralized its hiring process in an effort to recruit professionally and effectively.
Abstract: Prior to 1983, each institution in the system had been responsible for scheduling its own examinations and hiring its own correctional officers with the result that there was no standard for qualifications, some institutions were never able to fill all their vacancies, and women and minority officers were underrepresented. The Selections and Standards Branch was established and charged with developing and implementing a coordinated, efficient selection program for correctional officers. Under the correctional officer regional testing program, the State was divided into three regions, each with a testing center capable of testing 100 to 140 applicants per day. Interview panels immediately met with the applicants who passed the written test and those who passed the interviews had their physical examinations at the center. Applicants successful in all three components were fingerprinted and their background investigations started. The entire process takes four to eight hours. The regional centers processed between 30,000 and 50,000 applicants per year. An intensive recruiting drive, using modern visual aids and marketing tools, has focused on finding qualified applicants as well as underrepresented groups, however, no quotas or ratios have been used. Large-scale vacancy rates have been eliminated and a pool of permanent intermittent correctional officers has been appointed at most institutions. The improved selection process, training programs, and salaries have reduced the turnover rate dramatically. A new unit has been established to develop and validate selection devices for correctional officers and other entry-level peace officer classifications. More upper-level managers need to be involved in the selection and interviewing processes. Because of the high rate of interest by potential recruits, the system can raise the competency, ethical, and law-abiding levels by better measuring the psychological and emotional stability of its applicants.
Main Term(s): Corrections personnel selection; Recruitment
Index Term(s): Assessment centers; California; Turnover rates
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