I worked at Colorado Department of Corrections full-time (More than 5 years)
As a CDOC employee, your most valuable asset will be your PERA account. In terms of volatility and retirement benefits, it's one of the best. As an administrative support staff member, I had a consistent 9-5 schedule, and never was asked to stay late/come in early. I suppose, in a word, 'stability' is the best thing that CDOC offered.
CDOC has undergone a wealth of changes in terms of executive staff in the last few years, and it's weathering of those changes is arguably questionable at best. This becomes increasingly evident with many of their out-of-touch decision that they make, not the least of which was to demote entire classifications of employees, eliminate flex hours, reduce parole officer autonomy, and a general unwillingness or inability to back-fill vacant positions. Poor morale is an ever-present issue within CDOC, and this has been the case in every facility that I've worked in under CDOC.
Advice to Management
People working in the state system are already ostensibly taking a pay cut by doing so, even compared to other local/federal employees. By eliminating the few perks you did offer (flex scheduling, four ten-hour shifts etc), you are all but guaranteeing that as soon as your staff find a slightly better opportunity, they will seize it without much thought. People do not like to feel ignored and anonymous, especially since many of them are there to try and make an actual difference in the communities they serve.
I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Colorado Department of Corrections (Colorado Springs, CO) in November 2015.
First, it starts out with an online application. After a few days you get an email from HR telling you to fill out a google doc form that basically asked if you can meet all the requirements on your application. (walking, running, bending, etc), after you submit that you will get an email from HR again with a facility location and a time for a "comparative analysis" which is just state talk for an interview with a panel of officers ranging from Lt to Captain and a few admins (in my own experience). I arrived at the prison and only brought in my ID as the rest is considered contraband. I was searched and put though a metal detector before a lady met with me and took me to a computer. I was told to watch a 20 second video and then I would have 10 minutes to write a report on that clip. After the video you are taken to your panel for questions, mostly related to prison situations. After about 30 minutes (around 10 questions) I was released and set on my way. The next day I got an email saying I passed on placed on the eligibility list with a ranking. A few days later I got an email and a call from my background investigator with a set time to do my Integrity interview. That was the most intense part of my whole process. The investigator immidently started to record the conversation. I was handed a stack of papers to sign and give back. I was asked about my employment history, education, criminal history, etc. I did find it odd the investigator tried to trip me up about my employment history. I knew I listed everything on my application and stuck to my guns. I believe this was a test to see if I would confess to something. After that, you get your fingerprints taken and sent to the FBI to see if anything comes back. This whole process lasted about an hour and a half before I was free to go. About a week later I got a call from HR saying I needed to take a pre-employment drug test and see a medical doctor to sign off that I can preform the job. I had to pay this on my own, I went to a clinic and it was $70 for the doctor and $30 for the urine test. I faxed the results back to HR and 2 days later I was offered the position and reported to the training facility 3 weeks later. I was a little put off that the out of state trainees got a urine test for free at the facility. It's only 30 bucks but didn't seem fair to me.
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