ECI Correctional Officer Candidates Say Changes Need to Be Made - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

ECI Correctional Officer Candidates Say Changes Need to Be Made in Hiring Process

Posted: Jul 11, 2018 7:02 PM Updated:
Eastern Correctional Institution. (Photo: WBOC) Eastern Correctional Institution. (Photo: WBOC)

WESTOVER, Md.- Roger Kelley has applied for a correctional officer position twice at Eastern Correctional Insitution, but was disqualified without being given a reason why. 

"It'd be nice to know what I've done wrong considering they've sent me several confirmation emails stating all the testing, I passed," Roger said. 

Roger says he wanted to become a correctional officer to serve his community and provide for his family. 

"I have three kids and I'm a family man. I'm trying to do what's right for my family and in that process I just feel like I was shut down and I'm not sure why," Roger said. 

The benefits and retirement pension were what sold his former spouse, Orissa on also applying for a CO position.  But she says it was a disappointment in the end. 

"It's very impersonal, you get there and you're just a number. I mean there's not really much of anything that you get in the beginning, any kind of interaction, it's very impersonal," Orissa said. 

Both Roger and Orissa say they passed multiple portions of the roughly eight-step hiring process, including the written test and polygraph.  Ultimately both received an email stating they were disqualified, but were not given a specific reason why.  The email, obtained by WBOC, states "It is departmental policy to not reveal more information regarding the reason, but only to make you aware that you were not selected."

Roger says that part was the most frustrating. 

"Because before you even begin the process of interviewing, you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement that they don't have to give you a reason of why they're disqualifying you," Roger said. 

Orissa believes the process is too long.  Each step, she says, can take weeks, if not months to complete. 

"I think that it comes down to there's all these hoops you have to jump through and there's no reward in the end," Orissa said. 

Gary McLhinney, Director of Professional Standards, tells WBOC that the application process is different for each candidate.  The process can likely be extended due to scheduling and obtaining the documents necessary for hire. However, McLhinney says the state is looking at ways to make the process shorter for the future. 

State officials confirmed with WBOC that they are searching for a private recruiting firm at a cost of $50,000.  The state says they hope to get a recruiter within the next month. 

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