January 22, 2018

That’s Right, Folks, This Guy Passed the Corrections Officer Background Check!

See, you have to understand. The Monroe County Correctional Facility can’t know everything about their potential employees when they interview them. Why, it would be intrusive to ask about affiliations with racist gangs like the Vinlander Social Club, and they just couldn’t see the tattoos on someone’s arm, even if they are sleeved with curious symbols like a swastika and the name “HITLER!” right above it. You gotta understand, they had four wardens in two years and a sex scandal a few years back, so things have just been a little taxing, ya dig? It doesn’t matter that the guy in the gray t-shirt here, Michael Parrish, a Vinlander probate, never made any bones about who he was associated with and what he believed. We bet if we interviewed anyone in that prison who knew him we would be told some interesting stories. But it will be a moot point now, we suppose. See, after Parrish was arrested for allegedly killing his girlfriend and 2 year-old son, that was when he crossed the line and the prison terminated his employment after deciding that after almost a year in their employ he might not be a good fit for the Monroe County Correctional Facility. Good job weeding him out, guys! Attilla the Hun is one hell of an HR director!

Pocono Record

Michael John Parrish, the man accused of killing his girlfriend and his 18-month-old son in Effort on Monday night is out of a job, according to county officials.

Monroe County Commissioner and Monroe County Correctional Facility acting administration director Donna Asure said the county “does not consider him an employee” of the prison any longer.

“We’re interpreting the union contract two ways,” she said. “He’s been accused of a felony and he hasn’t called in to work for a couple of days.”

Parrish went on the run late Monday after police allege he shot and killed his 21-year-old girlfriend, Victoria Marie Adams, and the couple’s son, Sidney Michael Parrish, at the home the three shared in Effort.

Parrish had been a corrections officer at the Snydersville jail for 11 months, and was coming up on the end of his one-year probation period.

Pictures of Parrish have shown him with a number of tattoos, but nothing offensive was visible during the interview process, Asure said.

She said when he interviewed for his corrections officer position, he was asked about the tattoos on his neck.

“We were told they were Celtic symbols,” she said.

Asure said there is a policy for prison guards that tattoos cannot be offensive, and that the guards should “not have a lot of visible tattoos,” if possible.

County Commissioner Suzanne McCool said she believes tattoos are considered “free expression” and are not grounds to keep someone from being hired.

McCool said physical appearance normally doesn’t tell a person’s whole story, and it is illegal to assume it would.

“Just because someone has short hair, it doesn’t make them a skinhead,” she said.

Beyond the tattoo issue, neither Asure nor McCool, who also sits on the Monroe County Prison Board, could comment on the interview or hiring process specifically for Parrish.

However, both said the county’s policy for all of its potential employees is to do a thorough background check.

Bonnie Ace-Sattur, director of human resources for the county, said the extensive background check includes a criminal background and a driver’s license check.

“I can only assume the alleged perpetrator Parrish) had a clean background check,” McCool said.

Asure said hires at the prison won’t have much more than parking tickets on their criminal records.

“Nothing more than minimal, minimal misdemeanors,” she said. “Anything drug-related would not pass. That person would not be offered the final job.”

Monroe County does not conduct psychological tests on potential employees because Asure said the prohibitive cost — hundreds of dollars per employee according to county officials — doesn’t outweigh the benefit.

“There have been some conversations, pros and cons, about performing psychological testing for prison and county employees),” Asure said. “If I thought it would guarantee we get the best corrections officer in the world, I’d do it, absolutely. But it doesn’t guarantee that. There are people who have gone on a rampage of some kind who have passed psychological tests.”

Even though nothing illegal went on at or around the prison concerning Parrish, it’s another public relations incident the jail is forced to overcome.

The prison is still dealing with a 2006 sex scandal, four changes in wardens in the last two years and another one on the way because there currently is no warden.

At the moment, the top three positions at the jail — warden, deputy warden and captain — have been vacant since March, and Asure took over administration of the prison in May.

“It does wear you down,” Asure said. “This is a great place with good employees. They’re very resilient. I told them to hang in there, we’ll keep making lemonade.”

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