Organizational Environment and Culture Diversity in Corrections
City-Department of Public Safety-Division of Corrections
(Local Government Agency)
The Department of Public Safety is the largest municipal government department in the City, with more than 1,600 employees, overseeing the Fire Department, six major divisions, two bureaus, a correctional institution and the city justice center. The Divisions of the Department of Public Safety are: Building Division
City Emergency Management Agency
Corrections Division, which includes the City Justice Center and Medium Security Institution Excise Division (liquor control office)
Fire Department, which includes the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services Neighborhood Stabilization Team, which includes Citizens' Service Bureau Office of Special Events
There are several divisions or groups comprised within the Department of Public Safety, however, for this report we will focus on the Corrections Division. The purpose of the Division of Corrections is to provide a safe and secure environment to hold individuals who are being detained for an alleged infraction of the law or who has actually been convicted and sentenced from one day to one year of jail time for an infraction of the law by which they were found guilty. This division also serves to ensure that the community is safe and secure from the potential dangers of any person being held as a detainee or prisoner within the confines of the correctional institutions in the City. It is also the responsibility of employees to provide the detainees, fellow co-workers, and the general public with professional and courteous service. While the above motto or statement seems ideal and one that should be effortlessly enforced, there have been, occasional opportunities where group and teamwork have flourished down through the years. However, there have also been missed opportunities which resulted in several break-downs relative to group and teamwork within the each of the institutions. The Actual Concern
The environment within this division has been plagued with numerous safety and security issues over the past decade. Although new administrators have been bought in to lead the effort of this large group comprised of several teams within this agency, there remains a link that has not been able to cure issues relative excessive overtime, retention, medical issues, safety, security, and staffing to name a few. Cultural diversity awareness is one of the basic training subjects that has continued to evade the Division of Corrections and could be the root cause of preventing it from upholding its responsibilities with City Government. Recognizing and respecting cultural differences in the workplace is essential to an agency’s organizational structure and the health of its human resources. Training is key to helping employees with different backgrounds engage in communications to understand and respect each other's differences so they learn to collaborate and work as a team to achieve this agency’s goals. Absent of this training is not only a recipe for disaster within Corrections, it becomes a major liability City Government and taxpayers as well. In the case of the Division of Corrections there needs to be an increase in innovation and risk management such that they are viewed as partners rather than adversaries. When properly fused, the two disciplines can help organizations pursue opportunities that they might otherwise loose without ever knowing an opportunity was right at hand. Risk management can help foster the Division of Corrections innovation agenda by revealing blind spots and areas of underinvestment that threaten the upside of this organization’s future within City Government. Assessing the Concerns
Individuals who applied and become Correctional professionals within this environment come from different backgrounds and cultures....
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