Senator Kissel Supports Increased Staffing at Department of Correction

March 22, 2006

State Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) is speaking out in favor of increasing staffing at the Department of Corrections. Senator Kissel, the Ranking Senator on the Judiciary Committee, has already co-sponsored Raised Bill No. 5540, An Act Concerning Staffing Standards of the Department of Correction.

“It is important to ensure that the Department of Correction facilities are adequately staffed at all times both for the sake of the workers’ health and to ensure that the safety and security of our facilities are not compromised,” said Senator Kissel, who represents the seventh district, which includes seven of the DOC’s nineteen state facilities. “These are physically and mentally demanding positions, so we want workers to be as well-rested and as alert as possible.”

“Currently, in order to fill mandated post positions, many DOC officers work either voluntary or mandatory overtime,” explained Senator Kissel. “The State spent around $6 million last year alone on these overtime costs. With increased staffing, posts can be filled with more rested and healthier workers at a more reasonable cost to the state.”

Senator Kissel also noted how long working hours can be stressful and put a strain on Connecticut families.

“It has been demonstrated that extended working hours can be very tough on families in the state. Divorce rates unfortunately are higher among families with a spouse working for the Department of Correction. Workers deserve the chance to properly balance their professional and personal lives,” added Senator Kissel.

Senator Kissel is a Deputy Minority Leader serving his seventh term representing the seventh district communities of East Granby, Enfield, Granby, Somers, Suffield, Windsor, and Windsor Locks.