Human resource management is an important aspect in the administration of any organization due to the impact that human resources have on the overall performance and success of an organization (Igwe, Onwumere, and Egbo, 2014). The private sector has successfully integrated the modern human resource management theories in their corporate culture, a factor that has contributed to their improved performance. However, the public sector has lagged behind in the development of an ideal working environment, thereby increasing work dissatisfaction. Notably, the correction department is among the public organizations with a poor human resource management system. This has contributed to the notoriously high employee turnover rates in the corrections industry. Minor et al. (2009) indicate that the correctional industry constitutes some of the under-researched sectors and topics. There is a research gap on evidence-based studies that address the high staff turnover rates in correctional facilities and work dissatisfaction. This research will seek to fill this gap by examining the challenges associated with human resource management in correctional facilities by examining the difficulties encountered in hiring and retaining correctional officers.
1.2 Statement of the Leaders Impact on Change (Thesis Statement)
Leaders play a vital role in the effective administration of an organization by setting goals and enforcing policies to ensure that the objectives are met. Notably, leaders play a vital role as change agents and can help transform the performance and well-being of an institution (Lunenburg, 2010). The leadership in correctional facilities has been criticized due to the inability to respond to market changes, enhance human resource management, and improve the overall quality of services offered to visitors, inmates, and other stakeholders. Effective leadership can help address these constraints and change the existing culture in the correctional institutions. However, the implementation of change is dependent on the ability to clearly identify and define the underlying problem (Lunenburg, 2010). For such concerns, it is imperative to explore the challenges limiting effective human resource management in the correctional facilities so as to propose appropriate changes that can be implemented to solve the identified issues.
1.3 Statement of Purpose
According to the arguments presented by Kabeyi (2019), strategic management and planning is the ideal approach to help respond to the existing market challenges. Notably, the suitability and effectiveness of strategic management and planning is based on problem identification so as to propose sustainable solutions that can help avert the crisis. Despite the widespread knowledge of the issues facing correctional facilities across the globe, limited empirical evidence is available regarding the difficulties experienced in hiring and retaining correctional facilities (Minor et al., 2009). This knowledge is vital as it can help understand some of the key issues facing the correctional industry so as to develop strategic plans that can be implemented to improve the human resource management in these facilities. This research will help attain this goal by examining the key issues that has contributed to the high employee turnover in the sector. This knowledge will assist policy makers and researchers in proposing sustainable solutions that can be implemented in the long-term.
1.4 The Challenges and Trends
Based on the investigation by Lommel (2004), the correction sector has one of the highest turnover rates. The average national turnover rate among correctional officers stood at 16.1% in 2000 (Lommel, 2004). Although a career in corrections can be rewarding, a variety of factors have contributed to the high turnover rate. The turnover rate has been on the rise, and increased to 18.5% in 2010 and to 30.8% in 2015 (Fifield, 2016). Despite the sharp rise, only 8% of the officer positions were vacant. The staffing problem has been criticized by policymakers, especially during key incidents such as prison riots or prison escape (Fifield, 2016). The high turnover rate is expected to widen unless long-term corrective measures are implemented.
To sum up, effective human resource management can help avert the looming crisis in the correctional facilities. The high employee turnover rate can be attributed to job dissatisfaction, and this research will help explore the major reasons behind the current trend in the correctional facilities. Notably, leaders can act as change agents through the use of strategic management planning to help explore the major issues and propose strategic long-term solutions.
CHAPTER TWO: Relevance of the Issue
This section highlights the relevance of the management of human resources in the correctional sector. It is vital to understand how addressing the major issues facing correctional workers can enhance their work and improve the overall outcome of correctional institutions.
2.2 Relevance of the Issue
There has been criticism over the inefficiency and inhumane nature of the services offered in correctional facilities, particularly in the US and other developing nations (Lichtenberg, 2016). The quality of services and issues raised in the correctional system directly contravenes the intended purpose of these facilities. For instance, the juvenile system was developed to help enhance public safety, habilitate, rehabilitate, and develop the skills of the youth in the system. However, the US juvenile system has been heavily criticized due to its failure to fulfill the intended purpose and help in the re-integration of juveniles back to the society (Medina, 2016). Although there is no single explanation/ theory that can explain the failure in the correctional institutions, the human resources in the sector contribute significantly to the issue. As such, addressing human resources issues and challenges can help improve the services offered in correctional facilities and also boost the overall performance of the sector in line with the intended goals.
2.3 Recent Developments
Scholars across the globe have attempted to unravel the reason behind the current challenges facing the US criminal justice system, particularly with focus on the correctional system. Notably, Robertson (2019) depicts that although the US crime rates have substantially decreased over the years, the nation has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. This high incarceration rate has contributed to the chronic shortage of correctional officers, increased their obligations, and affected their job satisfaction. Furthermore, the current criminal justice reforms have been criticized due to their ineffectiveness in lowering the incarceration rate and enhancing equality. Notably, Robertson (2019) claims that the current policies in place would take approximately 75 years to reduce the population in correctional facilities by half. The high incarceration rate has put pressure on existing correctional facilities, thereby affecting the jobs, duties and responsibilities of the already over-worked correctional officers. As such, there is need to redesign the correctional system to take into account the human resource issues and improve the overall operations of the sector.
2.4 Historical Solutions and Responses
The changes in the US criminal laws have focused on increasing punishment and fairness rather than addressing the challenges facing the correctional facilities. These laws were introduced to address the rising crime rate in the US during the 1970s and the 1980s (National Research Council, 2014). However, there were no policies introduced to address the rising number of inmates in correctional facilities and improve the well-being of workers. Despite the widespread knowledge of the staffing crisis facing the correctional facilities, the federal government and state governments have been reluctant in implementing sustainable solutions to improve the situation. Chandler (2018) indicates that inmates and officers are stabbed due to this issue, and this has contributed to the looming crisis. Notably, the government has not implemented any solution over the years, and in 2018, an Alabama court ordered the state to improve the conditions of the state prisons by hiring more correctional officers (Chandler, 2018). The court order was as a result of the lawsuit filed against the state of the prison healthcare.
Based on the investigation, the inefficiency of the correctional facilities can be related to the looming human resource constraints. The high incarceration rates in the US has put pressure on existing facilities, thereby leading to a human resource shortage and overworking of the existing staff. No feasible solution has been implemented by the government, and the judicial system has attempted to intervene through orders in a bid to improve efficiency of the sector. Notably, drastic steps need to be taken to ensure effective human resource management and avert the crisis in the correctional facilities.
CHAPTER THREE: Impact of the Case
This section highlights that the impact that the case will have based on the identified challenges. The goal of the research is to help in introducing changes to the human resource management approach used in correctional facilities to address the key issues, such as overworking of the staff. This section will also examine the risk management issues and organizational considerations and challenges.
3.2 Current Impact of the Case
The case is crucial as it clearly outlines the human resource crisis in correctional facilities and its impact on the employee’s satisfaction. This effect is reflected on the high turnover rate of correctional officers and difficulties hiring new officers. This knowledge is vital in the design of long-term and sustainable solutions that can help avert the current crisis in the sector.
3.3 Risk Management Issues
The reliability and credibility of the research is based on the assumption that human resource management issues are the key drivers to lack of job satisfaction, poor enrollment rate, and the high turnover rate. However, the inherent risks associated with the job also affects the interest from potential employees. The management of this inherent risk can help attract more workers. However, the threat of the working environment is a key defining factor that may be affecting the industry, and this cannot be entirely eliminated despite addressing the other issues