Virginia Department of Corrections Reviews | Glassdoor

Virginia Department of Corrections Reviews

Updated September 19, 2017
41 reviews

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2.7
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Virginia Department of Corrections Director Harold W. Clarke
Harold W. Clarke
19 Ratings

41 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Legal advocate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advocate in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Advocate in Richmond, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Virginia Department of Corrections part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great co workers, very organized

    Cons

    Resources were sometimes limited


  2. "Good in a pinch for those without further education."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Former Corrections Officer Corporal in Southampton, VA
    Former Employee - Former Corrections Officer Corporal in Southampton, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Virginia Department of Corrections full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Reliable work of you can handle the stress of dealing with inmates. You work with all different sorts of people so you have to be flexible when dealing with such a mixture of personalities. Good benefits however the state just doesn't have very deep pockets especially in the prison sector. Don't expect big money, even as a supervisor.

    Cons

    Shift work, dealing with inmates. Long time employees are all miserable and grumpy.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees better and you'll get better employees. Simple.

  3. "Best insurance benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Correctional Officer in Richmond, VA
    Current Employee - Correctional Officer in Richmond, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Virginia Department of Corrections full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great insurance at the cheapest I have ever had it

    Cons

    prisons are dangerous. Offenders are constantly trying to manipulate staff.

    Advice to Management

    don't micromanage your good employees


  4. "Watch your back - coworkers will get you before the "returning citizens" do"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Virginia Department of Corrections full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Decent benefits: health, dental, vision, leave, holidays

    Cons

    Negative culture - favoritism and racism is rampant.
    Disgruntled employees
    Convicted felons are catered to while employees are overlooked
    Healing environment is a failure and only for appearances
    Nobody cares about dialogue because there is no such thing as a safe container in the DOC...
    Your comments cannot be trusted to be kept in confidence.
    People are lazy and lie to your face.
    The "suits" in headquarters are disconnected from the employees, yet they call all the shots and make uninformed and unreasonable policies which affect everyone but the "suits"
    Pay compensation is a joke and extremely below even the average private market value.
    Employees from all ranks are quitting and leaving for better jobs and higher pay
    Raises are never granted and there is no chance of pay increases due to performance or gaining education, training and certifications.
    Employees are only numbers and have no value to management.
    Work conditions are unsafe in facilities due to under-staffing and mandatory vacancies being held in order to save money.
    Schedules are not flexible unless you are buddies with higher-ups
    Unit managers rarely show up to work, but they still get paid for 40 hours a week
    Sergeants are glorified breaking officers and treated like garbage.
    Lieutenants take the fall for the failures of the captains.
    Officers are worshiped since they are warm bodies to fill seats and push buttons.
    Interoffice departments refuse to work together and some people conduct the work duties of several positions and are not rewarded or compensated for it. It has become expected for certain positions to perform others' duties.
    Telecommuting is not an option... even though the Governor encourages it.
    Employees with disciplinary actions against them are promoted while those who are good workers are not since they don't suck up to the hiring authorities.

    Advice to Management

    Don't forget where you come from.
    Don't stand up for only a few employees and forget about the rest of them.
    Give performance-based bonuses and raises.
    Don't speak out of both sides of your mouth.
    Don't make promises that you have no intention of keeping.
    Answer your emails.
    Answer your phone.


  5. "Do not sell your soul !!!!!!!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Correctional Officer in Waverly, VA
    Current Employee - Correctional Officer in Waverly, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Virginia Department of Corrections full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The best part of Corrections is going home and the deferred compensation and other state benefits. You only need a high school diploma or GED.

    Cons

    The pay sucks, you will work, Walk , sweat and be disrespected by both staff and offenders for practically nothing. It pays the bill but the life threatening situations, verbal threats and physical threats are overwhelming. They tell you 12 hour shifts when really is abt 12.5 hrs and you get paid 11.4 hours 5:45am-6:10pm the worst schedule ever if you have children. You will work your butt off while some officers get by, by doing absolutely nothing. The offenders are out of their cells approximately 4-6 hours a day in what is supposed to be a maximum security prison, if you are looking for 23 :1 just forget applying for VADOC and apply for the federal prisons. The morale is so low amongst Officers, you have so many officers being paid by inmates to do what they want them to do. If you are an ethical person with integrity this is not the place for you. Your supervisors will tell you they have your back but none of them will make rounds unless you work in segregation or death row. As much as you may try to follow rules and proper protocols the supervisors will bend over backwards to keep the inmates happy and basically everything you thought you was doing right goes out the window. The opportunities to advance are endless as long as the person interviewing you knows you personally or someone they are friends with knows you and tells them you deserve the job. At Sussex 1 State Prison everything is favoritism. The academy offers all types of free training for anyone interested but if you don't Suck up to the right folks or get in with the right circles, most likely you will not get in one of the training slots when it becomes available. As an officer you are eligible to apply for any position, however Sussex does not like to hire within from security to any non security position even if you qualify for it. They prefer to hire from outside for non security positions so that they do not lose a body. However, you can make sergeant within 6 months but your pay will definitely suck without prior law enforcement. Oh an as a sergeant you do not make overtime(sorry to burst your bubble). If you have children that can not take care of themselves you need to run as fast as you can away from VADOC because they do not care about your child care needs, if you are a single mom you need to find another job because there are no Day cares open at 4 am when u need to be on your way to work. The inmates constantly set officers up by having their families act like officers or create fake emails. I've been at Sussex for 2 years and I've seen many bad officers and good ones come and go but recently things are only getting worse. Everytime I try to leave I just realize how comfortable I am , but I see it's just complacency and I have to leave before the offenders take over the prison.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees, although you may have been a Corrections Officer at some point in your life. Prison has substantially changed since those days. Stop taking offenders side over officers and while you maybe on call 24 hours a day you get to enjoy your family while corrections officers are forced to come to work on their days off if not disciplinary action is taken. Make it harder for supervisor promotion allow a minimum amount of experience in order to become a supervisor, too many supervisors who barely know how to be officers yet trying to supervise officers and don't know what to do. Change the shifts to 8 hours shifts and overtime can be worked the same day instead of people having to sacrifice their days off.


  6. "Officer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Officer in Grayson, VA
    Current Employee - Officer in Grayson, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Virginia Department of Corrections full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Benifits and Time off, Job Security and as long as you show up, and appear you are golden.

    Cons

    Mismanangement, Promote uneducated naysayers, Very Corrupt and if you create a bullseye they will take you out. Work very outnumbered most of time, left in verty unsafe conditions with felons.


  7. "Officer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Virginia Department of Corrections full-time

    Pros

    Benefits are really great for the job.

    Cons

    Dangerous, low pay and low morale.

  8. "There are some great people to work with there!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Virginia Department of Corrections full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The benefits and the experience

    Cons

    The politics determine the unreal workload of front line staff


  9. "Corrections"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corrections Captain in Chesapeake, VA
    Former Employee - Corrections Captain in Chesapeake, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Virginia Department of Corrections full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Job security after probationary period is pretty secure. This can be a "pro", but it can also be a "con," because sometimes even bad employees can't be fired. I have seen employees get rightly terminated for incidents, but fight it through the Employee Grievance Procedure and manage to retain employment.

    Cons

    The salary of a Corrections Officer is insufficient for a middle-income lifestyle. The favoritism and preferential treatment by managers toward certain employees exceeds the boundaries of commonplace. Post and shift assignments are regularly used to move those who voice their disagreements out of the way. Seniority is only considered when the situation pleases management to use it. The agency mandates all institutions to work with a lack of security staff. Some institutions have experiences as much as 30% of security positions being vacant for thirty days or more. Evaluations are meaningless and have no bearing on salary. The favoritism, the irrelevant evaluations, the in-house politics by management, and the critically under-staffed environment are directly responsible for the high turnover rate of security staff.

    Advice to Management

    Fill all vacancies as soon as possible. Upgrade the standards for hiring. Implement policy to require annual drug screening for ALL employees.


  10. "Don't work there"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Probation and Parole Officer in Chesterfield, VA
    Former Employee - Probation and Parole Officer in Chesterfield, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Virginia Department of Corrections (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are not any pros

    Cons

    Micromanagers, they reward their friends, they will use you to gain your knowledge, they treat their staff like they are inmates. Salary is horrible


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