A major component of getting a job as a Corrections Officers in many jurisdictions is to perform well on the Civil Service Exam.
Litigation resulted in many communities being "consent decree" communities. Consent decree occurs when a community accepts certain conditions in order to terminate legal actions.
From Common Wealth magazine:
The average wages for a Corrections Officer is $35K/year while Corrections Officers working for the State can be paid +$50K/year.
Preferential treatmentIf test scores don’t determine rank on the hiring list, what does? The answer is “preferences.” Certain “absolute preferences,” determined by law and court order, allow some applicants with at least a passing grade of 70 to move ahead of everyone else. In fact, there are so many folks being ushered to the front of the line it actually requires an order of preferences to sort them all out. Here is a typical list of absolute preferences used to create a Civil Service hiring list in a Massachusetts city or town:
- minority applicants (in consent decree communities only)
- resident children of police officers or firefighters killed in the line of duty
- non-resident children of police officers or firefighters killed in the line of duty
- resident disabled veterans
- resident children of police officers or firefighters injured in the line of duty
- non-resident children of police officers or firefighters injured in the line of duty
- resident veterans
- resident widows or widowed mothers of veterans killed in the line of duty or dead from service-connected disabilities incurred in wartime service
- resident non-veterans
- non-resident disabled veterans
- non-resident veterans
- non-resident widows or widowed mothers of veterans killed in the line of duty or dead from service- connected disabilities incurred in wartime service
- non-resident non-veterans
The jobs many of these candidates are likely to be able to find, today, are $11/hour, 28 hours/week positions.
For the sake of this comparison, let's assume the candidate who is blocked by one of the "absolute preferences" is able to find two jobs that add up to 40 hours per week. If they work 50 weeks a year they will make $22K.
Simply comparing wages over a 25 year time span, the difference in pay is $425K.
Comparing wages is only part of the difference. Fringe benefits are non-existent for our $11/hour example but, according to the Mackinac Center, fringe benefits for a State of Michigan employee are approximately 54% of base payroll. That adds another $17K/year to the "absolute preference" bringing the Brand Value for an alpha minority to $850K for a non-college track job.
Analysis two two different scenarios suggests that the Brand Value of being an alpha minority is worth approximately $750K for that one individual.