29 corrections officers laid off | RecordCourier.com

29 corrections officers laid off

by Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

Twenty-nine correctional officers at Nevada State Prison have been served with layoff notices effective April 1, the state prisons chief said Tuesday.

Jobs are available for those officers, but not in Carson City right now, said Greg Cox, director of the Nevada Department of Corrections. He said his staff has told him those officers are unwilling to move elsewhere and intend to take the layoff.

Under the agency’s personnel rules, however, far fewer than that will actually lose their jobs permanently, Cox said.

First, he said, there is an average of four or five vacancies in the Carson City institutions each month. Even if that drops to three, he said, six or more of those officers will find a new post in the area by April.

Second, those who are laid off go on the list as first to be hired back when there is a vacancy, based on seniority. If they take a transfer instead of the layoff, they go on the second list for rehiring in Carson City, he said.

The net result: Some of those officers will be out of work for only a month before they are back and, according to Cox, all those who want to return will probably have a job back in the Carson City area within six or seven months.

The 2011 Legislature originally balked at Cox’s plan to begin moving inmates and shutting down units at the prison last year. He won permission to do it his way by telling lawmakers that if they agreed to the plan, he could reduce eventual layoffs to 30 or fewer.

With 29 notices – and the fact many of them will get their jobs back – he kept that promise.

The last inmates were moved out of the prison on Jan. 9.

The only operations at the Carson City prison are in the upper yard, where minimum-security inmates from Stewart Conservation Camp arrive every day to operate the license plate factory.