DOC- Wide MAPE and Confer Meeting Minutes
July 15, 2019
Department of Corrections Meet and Confer
July 15, 2019
Present for MAPE: Hannah Lindeman, Dan Dingmann, Seal Dwyer, Ellen Johnson, Rebecca Ramsey, Sadie Watts, Cheri Humphrey, Jill Tharalson, Debbie Prokopf
Present for Management: Marcus Schmit, Al Godfrey, Michelle Smith, Nan Larson, Kelley Heifort, Jackie Sovick Lonne.
Security at Facilities (any available updates): MAPE asked for updates on security at facilities and the status of the Staff Victimization Committee. Management stated listening sessions are being held and we’ve spoken to over 500 staff. We are learning where the gaps are and where resources need to be spent. We’ve put a pause on the Staff Victimization committee and focusing on peer support. This support will help with stress, victimization, anxiety and other things happening inside and outside of work. Management stated they are also looking at recruitment and retention. Hiring events have been held at FRB, STW and OPH. MAPE stated transparency is being provided to the media and why can’t it be provided to staff. Management stated we need to look at how to effectively communicate with employees.
Integrated Case Management (ICM): In May there was a meeting that included 25+ corrections program directors (CPDs) and caseworkers to discuss strategies and barriers to case planning. It gave them an opportunity to talk with their peers inside and outside of their facility. People see value in individualized case management, as it is mission-focused work, however, there are systemic barriers to broadly doing this work within caseloads. A survey was developed for county supervision to report on the use of LSCMI and case plans to see who is doing ICM-like work. We reached out to Hennepin County to see if they are using LSCMI since 30% of DOC offenders are released here. As they broadly are not, a group of staff is working with Hennepin to define what would be valuable in case planning for releases. MAPE stated that caseworkers are doing case plans and then they move to field services and nothing happens; however the survey reports show that various counties are using some case management tools, case planning included. There are a number of counties and districts in MN that use EBP tools including case plans; however, we continue to explore opportunities outside of the ICM-targeted counties/regions for more collaborative work. While MAPE disagrees the survey data was shared at the May meeting (facility representatives attended) regarding how ICM is being used in the community. MAPE is hearing from its members that there appears to be almost no involvement from community partners. MAPE has concerns with time, forms, training, and concerns with continuity. MAPE asked for a better tracking and transfer system or process for managing cases between facilities.
Julie Jefferson was hired to support CPDs and give guidance on evidence-based practices to caseworkers. MAPE asked what the plan with ICM is. MAPE asked if there are any numbers on effectiveness of ICM. As there have been no quality assurance measures to date in regard to ICM
practices, it would be difficult to prove specific ICM “effectiveness.” Also, with the limited number of cases and short duration of case planning connected to MN Statewide Initiative to Reduce Recidivism, it is not possible to singly identify ICM as success or failure. There is a quality assurance plan in DOC policy and is noted in all case workers’ position descriptions. The ability to follow up on effectiveness of ICM is contingent upon compliance with training, coaching, feedback and adherence to the assurance plan. MAPE disagrees with this noting, ICM has been active for 6 years, and initial pilot program had no follow up on for any quality assurance or progress updates. Management has not made decisions on its status, with multiple changes of staff, local management noting they are awaiting direction from Central Office, and Central office noting it is up to local management. Management noted that MCF-FRB has made a local decision to move forward with implementation of case planning for all case workers at their facility. Reentry Services has offered support for quality assurance measures.
MAPE had questions regarding EBP training requirements and the new web-based case plan module. The case plan is ready for pilot. Two ICM staff are on the committee and will pilot the product, along with two DOC districts and county supervision in the near future. Information and training will become available as the module becomes more broadly available. MAPE questioned what EBP training is now mandatory, specifically case planning. Management will ask for CPDs to clarify with staff the mandatory requirements. Management stated in Field Services they are looking at training and making sure things are done consistently. Field Services will then invite ISR and CIP agents to see what is and is not working and get their feedback.
MINNCOR Products and Procedures: MAPE stated that an employee found out from an offender that at MINNCOR at Moose Lake (ML) was processing arrows. This is a security issue. We don’t think it is receptive of the DOC to have weapons as MINNCOR products. MAPE is asking to be notified when there are new products and changes in MINNCOR. MAPE stated upholstery was moved to ML and anagram was moved to STW. Management stated that Anagram was moved and we are trying to manage where jobs are for offenders. We are shifting work to keep offenders working. MAPE stated employees are not told and transparency is not there with MINNCOR. MAPE would like to know how MINNCOR selects products or jobs for offenders. Management stated we are trying to find the best way to be transparent. MAPE stated that DOC needs to look at all products and change what is being made at MINNCOR. We need to provide more transparency in MINNCOR. We need to do better at information sharing. MAPE asked about MINNCOR canteen operations at OPH. Management stated DOC ended some contracts with outside entities so the focus can be on DOC. Trying to relieve some pressure from OPH. We are not moving canteen operations right now but it is not off the table. Management noted Lisa Wojcik is new to her position at MINNCOR and requested MAPE allow her time in her position before addressing concerns.
Achievement Awards: MAPE asked management to reconsider implementing achievement awards. MAPE stated it is a good incentive for employees doing extra work. Management stated that information on achievement awards was provided to the current administration. We would like to recognize and support staff. We want to invest more in our current staff. We think achievement awards should be back on the table and we are interested. Management committed to meeting with achievement award committee to identify opportunities to enhance the program.
Work Hours/Flexibility: MAPE asked if there are any talks of extending the work hours and flexibility to MAPE employees. Management stated facilities have been tasked at reviewing schedule. This came from listening to staff asking for work/life balance. We compete against ourselves for all programming from 7 am to 9 pm. MAPE is asking for more flexibility with their schedules. There are benefits to flexibility and we are losing people because we are not flexible. Management stated employees should provide their input to management at their respective facilities. MAPE stated they thought the scheduling meetings were only discussing AFSCME positions. Management stated the meetings are about facility schedules. They’ve been asked to establish a good schedule that works for their facility. AC Schmidt concluded by stating “If we want to be an employer of choice, we need to meet people where they are”.
Separating Investigations and Performance Management: Management stated investigations will be changed how they are completed. Management noted that the new administration was appalled amazed that everything is an investigation in this department. We only want to investigate when necessary and create more authentic opportunities for supervisors to engage with staff. This will require a culture shift. There will also be more emphasis on performance management. Changes need to be made to policies and performance review approaches updated. Staff will be more involved with setting their professional goals. MAPE asked if OSI will continue to do staff investigations. Management stated OSI will continue to do criminal investigations. Management noted that the Office of Professional Accountability is being established with a heavy emphasis on due process. MAPE asked how the new Office of Professional Accountability will be funded. Management stated that each DOC unit was asked to hold 1.5% of their budget to fund this unit and other initiatives identified through staff engagement. Finally, management noted that in the future, human resources will be better positioned to serve in a supportive capacity for staff and supervisors.
Performance Reviews: Management stated that one of the key areas of opportunity related to the performance management upgrade is the development of a new performance review document.
DOC Legislative Agenda: Safia Khan, Government Relations Director, is working on the DOC legislative agenda. Safia wants to engage employees and seek out perspectives of employees. She will also be reaching out to the Unions.