Somewhere out there in Michigan’s vast, $2 billion-a-year prison system, there is a guard who last year worked 2,390 hours of overtime and more than likely made more than $130,000 for the year.
That’s 46 hours of overtime per week!!!
Another 120 guards averaged 20 hours of overtime per week.
Altogether, the Department of Corrections could save millions of dollars each year by effectively managing overtime costs, according to a state audit released last week.
Other savings could come from eliminating unusual prison guard perks like a $575 allowance for dry cleaning.
That’s the level of detail it’s getting to as a growing coalition of interest groups demand an end to the ever-growing prison budget trend in Michigan.
As we told you last week, prison overtime costs have doubled in the past five years.
In response to the new audit, the Corrections Department said its really doesn’t control its own overtime decisions because those are governed by labor contracts negotiated and approved by the governor’s administration.
“DOC informed us that its facilities monitor the amount of overtime worked by individual custody officers, but under current contract language, DOC cannot prohibit employees from working any given number of overtime hours, consecutive days, or double shifts unless they are determined medically unfit to do so,” auditors wrote. “DOC informed us it will continue to recommend changes to the collective bargaining agreement between the Michigan Corrections Organization and the State of Michigan to provide DOC with greater control and flexibility in the scheduling of overtime and staffing of assignments.”