Within the past few months, two very major state entities–Arizona Department of Corrections, and Child Protective Services–have been under major scrutiny, due to issues ranging from fiscal mismanagement, low staffing, to poor leadership. Many Arizona lawmakers have began to ask the question…what else is happening at the state level?
ADOC has been critically understaffed for years; according to an article written by abc15.com, it is common practice to have 2-4 officers watching anywhere from 100-200 inmates. Staffing is so bad it has created an unsafe environment for its employees; ADOC averages 335 officer assaults A YEAR!! Or what about the ridiculously low salary most of its corrections officers make (about $31k), yet ADOC’s budget is $1 billion dollars?! (Sound familiar?)
CPS has also had their dirty laundry aired all over the news media. Since 2009, nearly 6,000 cases received from the CPS hotline hadn’t been investigated. One of CPS’ former employees has also come forward and stated that low pay and staffing issues make it impossible for CPS to function effectively (Again…familiar territory). The situation at CPS is so critical that a member of the legislature’s CPS oversight committee stated, “The public must know that this neglect of duty will never happen again and that the people responsible for this disturbing practice are held accountable. In addition, a long-term reform of the agency is warranted to restore public confidence.” Furthermore, a representative from the State House has asserted the director of CPS (Clarence Carter) must be removed for the agency to succeed. “Either the governor or Carter — one of them needs to go. This is another state agency that’s failing under her.”
Both the situation at ADOC and CPS parallel the problems that ASUPD is currently having. Mismanagement of personnel and money by higher-ups leads to staffing problems, low work productively, and high employee turnover. These state agencies which have gone largely unchecked for quite some time are starting to face scrutiny for their mismanagement…how long will it be before ASUPD and Chief Pickens’ names are also thrown into the mix?