To ensure corrections officers have time to share information with incoming officers regarding activity during their shift, Assembly Democrat Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) sponsors a bill that would mandate 30-minute shift overlaps for correctional facility officers. The legislation was advanced by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee on Monday.
Under the bill (A-2722), the Commissioner of Corrections would be required to institute 30-minute shift overlaps in all of the 13 correctional facilities throughout New Jersey. An officer whose shift has ended would remain at their post for an additional 30 minutes to report what took place during their shift to the next officer.
Upon the legislation advancing, Assemblyman Mukherji issued the following statement:
“New Jersey’s correctional facilities previously benefited from shift overlap periods for their officers, but have phased them out in recent years. Officers no longer have sufficient time to pass along critical information to their fellow officers, a problem exacerbated by the ongoing global pandemic. The lack of overlap has put both officers and inmates at risk since they have to rely on less informed methods of keeping everyone safe in our state prisons, such as institutional lockups and search details. Instituting shift overlaps again would help protect our officers and those in their charge, boost morale, improve communication between officers and prevent unnecessary situations in our prisons.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.