Correctional Officer Staffing Problems
By Roma Blackham, Marketing —
Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services Stephen Moyer is vying for stricter hiring requirements for correctional officers. His new requirements would entail that every applicant passes a polygraph test before they are hired. The problem? Well, according to Lloyd Waters, there are too few applicants for correctional officers as it is, and the polygraph test would only diminish that amount.
The Problem with Polygraphs
According to Waters, the most important assets for state prisons is having adequate staffing, and right now the ratio of prisoners to correctional officers is on the low end. The job itself is not an easy one. Correctional officers have to deal with medical issues such as tuberculosis, AIDS, drug overdoses, and psychological problems. In addition to these, correctional officers also have to deal with violence in the realm of fights, homicides, and suicides. In this kind of an environment, Water argues that adding the polygraph test to the hiring process will drive candidates away.
The Need for Polygraphs
While Waters may feel that a polygraph test is unnecessary, there are some, like Stephen Moyer, who feel that a polygraph test would strengthen the prison system by ensuring that all correctional officers are being honest about their work. However, Water also points out that an officer’s ability to pass a polygraph test one day does not mean they will pass it the next day. Polygraph tests are time-consuming and expensive, and it would not be realistic to expect officers to undergo routine and frequent polygraph tests.
All in all, polygraph tests do not seem to be the answer. They scare away much needed job candidates, they are expensive, time consuming and invasive. And yet, others outside the system are saying that we need to make sure that correctional officers are staying honest. It would seem a third alternative is needed. One alternative can be found in the EyeDetect™ test. This test is a more economic option that is also must less invasive, and could potentially be used routinely to ensure that officers are staying honest. This 30-minute test analyzes the eyes to detect deception but does not require any invasive hook-ups like the polygraph test.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.