§ 8920 Purpose.
The purpose of this subchapter is to establish a mandatory drug testing program for certain Department of Correction employees who hold positions that are directly related to public safety and the security of our correctional institutions and probation operations.
§ 8921 Definitions.
As used in this subchapter unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Applicant" means any person who is seeking employment with the Department for a security sensitive position.
(2) "Applicant-employee" means an employee of the State who is an applicant for a security sensitive position in the Department.
(3) "Department technical representative" means an employee of the Department designated by the Commissioner to ensure compliance with the requirements of this subchapter and whose duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. Scheduling of urine specimen collections;
b. Designation of collection sites;
c. Assuring the integrity of collection procedures and sites;
d. Assuring the integrity of testing and specimen retention procedures;
e. Reviewing the data and reports; and
f. Acting as the Commissioner's contact person for the testing for illegal drugs.
(4) "Employee" means a person with whom the State has an employer-employee relationship.
(5) "Incident triggered testing" means any incident involving death or serious physical injury to a Department employee, loss or significant damage to Department property, escape of an inmate or detentioner where the security sensitive employee was directly involved in the incident.
(6) "Random testing" means tests based upon an appropriate random sampling technique, with significant samples of Department employees in security sensitive positions being tested on a periodic basis with all such employees having a reasonably equal chance of being tested.
(7) "Reasonable suspicion" means when the Department, acting through its supervisory personnel, has reasonable suspicion that the appearance or conduct of Department employees in a security sensitive position is indicative of their having being impaired by an illegal drug.
(8) "Security sensitive position" means any of the following positions in the Department:
a. The Commissioner;
b. Bureau Chiefs;
c. Security positions;
d. Employees of the Department who are required or permitted to carry a firearm;
e. Department employees who have a significant degree of responsibility for the safety of others and whose impaired performance or undue influence of that Department employee could potentially result in death or injury to employees or others; or
f. Department employees as otherwise designated by the Department pursuant to its policies and procedures.
§ 8922 Drug testing required.
(a) Random testing. — All Department employees in security sensitive positions shall be subject to random testing for the illegal use of drugs.
(b) Pre-employment testing. — The Department shall test all security sensitive applicants and applicant employees for the illegal use of drugs.
(c) Incident triggered testing. — All Department employees in security sensitive positions shall be subject to incident triggered testing.
(d) Reasonable suspicion testing. — The Department may, acting through its supervisory personnel, conduct a drug test based on a reasonable suspicion that the appearance or conduct of the Department employee in a security sensitive position is indicative of being impaired by an illegal drug. The questioned conduct or appearance should be witnessed and must be documented in writing by a supervisor where practicable.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the Department's authority pursuant to any other statute, regulation, policy, procedure, contract or other source of authority to test any Department employee for drugs.
§ 8923 Drugs to be screened.
(a) The illegal drugs that shall be screened include, but are not limited to, the following:
(4) Phencyclidine ("PCP"); and
(b) The Department technical representative may submit to the Commissioner a written request for approval to screen for an illegal drug or controlled substance other than those listed under subsection (a) of this section. If the Commissioner approves the request, the Department technical representative shall notify all Department employees in security sensitive positions of the addition of that drug to the list of those to be screened.
§ 8924 Arrest notification required.
Any security sensitive employee arrested for an alleged violation of Chapter 47 of Title 16 shall report the arrest to the Department on the employee's next scheduled work day, or within 1 week, whichever is earlier. Failure to report the arrest shall result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
§ 8925 Policies and procedures.
The Department shall promulgate policies and procedures for the full implementation of the subchapter.
§ 8926 Correctional Officer Education Assistance Fund.
(a) Any correctional officer holding the rank of Captain or below may avail themselves of the provisions of this act to prepay the tuition costs for higher education related to their position.
(b) The classes will be 100% prepaid by the Department upon application to the Human Resources Director of the Department prior to commencement of classes at a college or university within the State for classes related to corrections, public safety, criminal justice, psychology or sociology or related fields. Related fields shall include any courses necessary to complete a degree program in Criminal Justice, Corrections, Public Safety, Psychology or Sociology. Correctional officers who work in the food service, mechanical or building trades and maintenance area shall be eligible for prepayment for classes that relate to their field or trade. The officer must maintain a C average or better in the classes taken to remain eligible for this program.
(c) The Department shall take the funds appropriated for this section in each fiscal year and allocate them as follows:
40% for the fall semester;
40% for the spring semester; and
20% for the summer semester.
The Department shall establish a deadline date for applying for said funds. If there are more applications than funds for any semester, then the funds shall be prorated between the applications. If there are less funding applications than funds available, excess funds shall be rolled over to the next semester.
(d) An officer who has received funding pursuant to this section but who is terminated from the Department for cause prior to completion of current vouchered courses or who otherwise fails to comply with any requirement of this section shall immediately become ineligible to receive education benefits pursuant to this section and shall repay the Department for all tuition and fee funding previously extended to the officer, including interest, on a pro rata basis from the time of termination or noncompliance. The Commissioner shall adopt appropriate procedures to determine the amount of repayment and the method of collection due by the officer pursuant to this subsection. If an employee voluntarily leaves the Department prior to completion of funded courses, the officer will not be required to repay previously funded tuition but will have to repay the current quarter or semester's tuition.