It's been a while since I've voiced my opinion so forgive me that this one is so long. A lot has happened so there's a lot to discuss. I ask for your patience and read all the posts. The entire article will be posted on my blog (I'M JUST SAYIN...) when I post the last section here.
As time passes it becomes more apparent of how much the attitude has changed towards state workers. Not only has it changed by the public, which I will get into in a minute, but look at how we are now being treated by those with a higher position or pay grade. I include medical staffing, paroles (whom most used to be C/O’s), Administration, and everyone who works in Sacramento that has an idea of what we do, but especially those who don’t have a clue which includes the Governor, his appointed department heads (including the Secretary of CDCR) and all the other figure-head ‘yes men’ that works in the other branches of state government. For the purpose of this 3 part article, I will start from the bottom-up of positions where responsibility lies as to where and why this change has happened. Believe me, there’s enough blame to go around.
To Be Continued...
Fault cannot be placed on the sheep that buys into all that they are being told or reported to about us even if the facts may be blurred to fit the story. Who might those innocent sheep be? The ones we took an oath of service to protect from those who committed crimes and were deemed not worthy to live in society and sentenced to be removed by the courts of law for whatever time period: the public, or what the governor likes to refer to lately as “the private sector”.
The spin of the story on C/O’s depends on the type of brush that we are painted with for the private sector. Either we are the fanatical, unsung hero’s on an MSNBC reality show that does a job no one in their right mind (including the CHP) will not do, or we’re the money hungry, corrupted, and uneducated non-essential ‘Peace Officers’ that should be fortunate that we even have a job. Well, here’s some news: some of us have filed bankruptcy, had houses foreclosed, cars repossessed, credit ruined and families torn apart, just like the private sector. We are Californians. Just because we are state employees does not mean we are immune to the economic turmoil of the Great Recession. But that’s another story…
The department and their leadership have not proven to hold the ability to understand what the ‘mission’ of our department is actually about or seemingly want to understand. They’ve changed the title of the department to sound more compassionate yet slashed and cut every program which may be helpful to cut recidivism. CDCR Secretary M. Cates has become a puppet just a waiting for his judge appointment. Not one time has this Secretary stood up for the department he heads or the men and women who work in it in any capacity. They throw statistics in the air showing that change is occurring but we still see the same faces enter our doors on petty violations. This shows the parole regions are cleaning up the streets but these violators end up being released to ‘Continue On Parole’ the very next week just to ease the stress of an overcrowded system. Obviously the Board of Prison Terms only cares about substantiating the necessity of their personal positions and not actual parole/rehabilitation reform.
The CDCR website reports that the number of parole cases will be cut in half from 90 parolees per agent to 45. This extreme cut can only be accomplished through hiring more Parole Officers, which the majority will be transferring Correctional Officers. Yeah, that sounds like it will save the state a lot. More criminals on the street for more parole agents to have to account for which I’m sure the max number on an agents case load will only increase from 45, not remain there or under. The reform, as sold, will be the paroles liability.
The governors’ office has shown the most obscene amount of abuse of power. Schwarzenegger has shown how possible it is to become drunk on the authority of the governors office. What amazes me is the attitude that he and those that surrounds him has when it comes to defining, understanding, and applying laws and state policies.
Schwarzenegger has one basic thought process:
‘I vill devine dee codes uf law az I zee vit so I can do vut I vant to all doze zat dizagree vit me. Dee courtz vill cleen up da mezz aftur I am out uf office, but buy den it vill be too late vor doze zat uppose me’.
Unfortunately, the state courts and legislators have sat back and said nothing on the legality or morality of his actions. Governor Schwarzenegger has placed a price on public safety, moral judgment of law, and ethics of those who hold public office and that amount in his eyes is obviously very low. The abuse of the governor’s power and the lack of backbone to speak against him will be the leadership’s liability.
To Be Continued...