HJ31: Corrections, Department of; JLARC to study staffing levels and employment conditions.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 31

Offered January 8, 2014
Prefiled December 27, 2013
 Directing the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study staffing levels and employment conditions at the Department of Corrections. Report.
Patron-- Tyler

Committee Referral Pending

WHEREAS, it is the mission of the Virginia Department of Corrections to enhance public safety by providing effective programs, re-entry services, and supervision of sentenced offenders in a humane, cost-efficient manner, consistent with sound correctional principles and constitutional standards; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Department of Corrections aspires to be recognized as a model correctional agency and a proven innovative leader in the profession; and

WHEREAS, Virginia will be a safer place to live and work if the Department provides appropriate custody, supervision, programs, and re-entry practices for offenders through its exemplary services; and

WHEREAS, the employees of the Department are the cornerstone of the agency, and they embrace a common purpose and a commitment to the highest professional standards and excellence in public service; and

WHEREAS, the Department should maintain a responsible commitment to its employees and be a satisfying and rewarding place to work and grow professionally; and

WHEREAS, a critical aspect of fulfilling its mission is adequate staffing; and

WHEREAS, a lack of adequate staffing levels can lead to lapses in safety as well as extreme stress and other health effects upon the staff; and

WHEREAS, a lack of sufficient staff or adequate compensation for employees leads to rapid turnover, resulting in a lack of seasoned and experienced staff; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission be directed to study staffing levels and employment conditions at the Department of Corrections.

In conducting its study, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) shall study the adequacy of staffing levels, employee health and safety, and turnover rates at the correctional facilities of the Commonwealth.

All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to JLARC for this study, upon request.

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2014, and the Chairman shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall state whether JLARC intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summary and report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.