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Americas Brutal Prisons

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posted on Apr, 9 2005 @ 10:20 AM
I remember reading a paper for a psychology class a few years ago that basicaly said that the evironment in prisons augments the persons personality to whatever position they hold. Guards become very on edge, and sometimes violent. Keep in mind that this was an experiment done with college students acting as both guards and prisoners, and by the end of the experiment the students playing guards began cracking peoples fingers with the battons if the prisoners were holding the bars. So this kind of abuse, according to the paper was at least partly due to the job, not necesarily the people.

posted on Apr, 9 2005 @ 06:49 PM

I know what your trying to say, not everyone in prison is a saint or some kind of misunderstood blah blah blah. I grew up around a rough crowd and spent half my life around the wrong circles, I've have friends going to jail since I was barely out of junior high I've was fortunate enough to not get confined to that world and have gotten out to have a foot both worlds both I've gotten to known prenty of cops and prison guards too. What I'm trying to say is that most of the people who are victimized the most in jails besides the pedophiles and people who do something bizarre are usually th weakest and less acustom to life in prison. from what I've personally heard and seen pedophiles are a free for all in prison's because the guards wouldn't go out of their way to protect them and nobody would step up for them no matter what skin color or outside connections they have. Here like in Rikers island homosexuals are segregated and pedophiles are most times under protective custudy, so when these guys want a little play toy they would go for the for some body whose alone and unconnected. that's why some people go in even if they are not racist or skinheads end up having to join them for pure survival, if ur not in a blood or crip u join up. Most of my friends who ended up in jail were pretty rough and had peoples inside so they didn't have it rough even the guards wouldn't get in their faces aslong as they didn't give them any problems. no if u went in with out any connections or able to defend yourself you would end up doing "favors" to stay in someone's good graces in there. and this isn't the way it is everywhere but that;s how it tends to work give it up to One person (sometimes more) or have it taken by everyone and pass around for cigaretes. In the lower security prisons you may end up not getting any problems as long as you stayed out of other people's faces but the higher the security level the harsher the people inside are.

posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 09:19 AM
I am currently writing an essay for school about the abuse in American prisons, and this type of video is just what I have been finding all over the net while researching. I do not care what you are in prison for, no one deserves to be abused in any way while they are sitting behind bars. One day these men and woman may walk the streets again and do you think they will not think about the torture that they received while they sat behind those walls? Do you think they will not take what they learned and use that once they are free?
Prisoners do not have it easy in jail, they do not sit in a hotel and get anything they want. Men have DIED while sitting in jail for spitting on a guard or for not following the "rules". What does this show americans? That someone that is taking care of our husbands, brothers, fathers and sons can get away with murder or in most cases aggravated assault and not get in trouble for it? Is that fair when some of these men sit in jail for less crimes then what these guards are doing to them?
Citizens do not have access to the prisons unless they know someone that is sitting in there doing a crime. Then once the abuse is told to an outsider it is then their word against the prison officials, who is going to believe someone that does not endure it on an everyday basis?
Being bitten by dogs, raped, confined for years is not right. Something should be done.
I understand that there are men and women in the prisons that do fight with the guards and yes I know that some have gotten hurt, but they as prisoners get in trouble for that, but not the c.o.'s. Its like they have some invisible shield around them that makes them not get in trouble. Everyone should be treated the same, not one person getting away with murder or torture.
What if your family member was sitting behind bars and this was going on to them? Would you feel differently once that has happened to someone you know? What if for some reason it would be you that was being abused and no one wanted to hear about it? Would you THEN find it wrong and immoral?
For the ones that say prisoners deserve to be treated this you have any remorse in anything you say and do? People DIE!! for crimes far less then what they went to prison for....someone that frauded the system deserve to be beaten and burned? Maybe the ones that feel that way should sit a day or two in prison and see what these men and women go through and then see how your views have changed!

posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 09:29 AM
Honestly have you ever talked to anyone that sat behind prison walls? The jails do not OFFER snacks to the inmates...they have to buy them if they have money. Clean clothes? ha! If an inmate sends his clothes to laundry it would be a pleasure for him or her to get their own clothes back, most of them wash them in their tiny little sinks in their cells. Comfortable beds? Once again HA! Do you think sleeping on a metal slab with a 1 inch mattress is comfortable? 3 meals a day, yes they do get that...if you like to eat bland, cold food then hey you have it made in there!
The only way a prisoner get a television or any other "special" item would be if he or she has someone on the outside that sends them money, these things are NOT offered. Prison is not a country club or some vacation spot, where would you even get this type of information? Prison is hell on earth, and for someone that does a petty crime they do not deserve to be treated like a dog.

posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 01:13 PM
Depending on the prison you talk about reflects the treatment. In my state (NM) there is a corporate run prison. A few years back they had over a thousand prisoners in what was later deemed: completely unsafe for the GUARDS. They had 2 guards in the whole place at any time, just 2, the prisoners broke out of their shoddy jail cells, murdered one, took the other prisoner and almost half of them ran off and escaped. The ones who had taken the hostage would not back down and the corporate kept saying: "Oh we will take care of it" for over a WEEK untill the state said "ok screw you" and sent in the entire state police force armed to the teeth and took control. Guess what? The prison still runs with the same settup...
Example in Ohio: inmates would riot and set things on fire because they all got "gifts" and the like. The prison then just backed off and said if your burn something it will not be replaced. Stopped the problem right there and then.
One HUGE problem with our system is we have A LOT of innocent people in jail, they get rounded up and thrown in then become what they were accused of being: gang members, murders and so on. Solve this problem, you solve HALF of the prison problem.

Want to solve the last problem? Treat them as prisoners, do not torture them though. Take out the TV's, the windows, give them a sleeping bag and cramp 8 to a 9ft by 9ft jail cell. No letters in or out, no packages in or out. Three meals a day: There was a jail in the South Pacific that had Steak Wednesday. The inmates were served steaks and had whole parties and feasts almost every day, I actually remember talking to people about how they were going to go up to the front door and punch out a cop just so they could get to eat steak. People in jail eat better than most people do in the real world, no wonder they all want in there.
I was working with a guy who was a nurse in a prison, he said they had a "special bread" for those who acted up:
Imagine hardtack gone wrong. They would take flour, yeast, raw bacon, an egg, whatever junk they had left over from food, water, bits of fruit and vegetable and put it all in a blender. They would then slop this into a round baking pan and cook it till it was so hard it could break teeth then feed it to the sucker's. I say we take this example and follow it, every day you get fed the SAME THING: Hardtack and water.
By that I mean this: You get into jail or sent to a prison, not only is it bare of all "necessities of life" but the food is the same thing every single day:
Day 1-7 (week)
#1: Hardtack
#2: packet of peanut butter and jelly
#3: water
That or use the "hardtack gone wrong" and give them water with it and nothing else for however long they are there. That will slash prison costs by over half right there if you think about it. The USA has more people incarerated than any country in the world, yet you look at the countries who are downright harsh with those in prison they have the LOWEST rates of any nation in the world. Japan has a 0 tolerace system, you go in, its hard labor till you leave, you are drilled as if you were in the army. When you go to leave though, you gain your humanity back, you are welcomed back to society and allowed to try again, go back again: tough luck sucker.

The sooner we have a system that actually punishes those in jail without going to torture them the sooner we get over the first hump, the sooner we give everyone a chance in society, we have gone over the second hump, when we actually give people a second chance (those who are not life), the sooner we get over the third hump. When we educate youth so they have a chance in society, the sooner we get over the fourth hump. What we have today is people being thrown into society without funding, hope, dreams, morals, ethics or anything. Morality and ethics is whatever the gangster rapper says it is, then you wonder why kids are so screwed up.

posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 02:26 PM

Originally posted by LA_Maximus
Anyone ever read Starship troopers? In one part he talks about punishment for crimes...and if a child committed a crime, His father would be whipped right besides him.

Maybe thats not such a bad idea.

Fantastic book Maximus, Heinlein has to be one of my favourite authors. As I recall, he also argues in that book that punishment MUST be cruel and unusual, or else it is not really punishment at all. Let me see if I can find the exact we go, in the voice of the fictional Lt.Col. Dubois:

"I do not understand objections to 'cruel and unusual' punishment. While a judge should be benevolent in purpose, his awards should cause the criminal to suffer, else there is no punishment -- and pain is the basic mechanism built into us by millions of years of evolution which safeguards us by warning when something threatens our survival. Why should society refuse to use such a highly perfected survival mecahnism? However, that period was loaded with pre-scientific pseudo-psychological nonsense. As for 'unusual,' punishment must be unusual or it serves no purpose. "

An interesting argument to say the least. Why should we coddle our hardened criminals? Why should they be treated with the regard they themselves lack? Perhaps cruel and unusual punishment is exactly what is needed to instill them with the moral virtue they lack; an appreciation of the absence of pain. Thoughts?

posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 12:18 PM
Keep in mind that people convicted on drug offenses stay in prison longer than murderers, in most cases.

It STILL is one of the most beautiful hustles I've seen. Bring in a lot of the drugs, claim you're fighting a war on said drugs, catch, lock up, convict people with said drugs, all the while making tons of money off said people. Not to mention cheap labor off said people. of the ultimate hustles today.

posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 01:00 PM
These men are considered the lowest of the low and the guard to enjoy doing their jobs.

I'm not suprised about Texas, and Florida.

This video just confirms that I REALLY, REALLY want to avoid going to jail.

I agree with Truthseeka about the drug trade. The Warden is like a kingpin in these places, the guards make highlevel lieutenaunt money. With the prisoners as their street corners.

[edit on 1-3-2007 by Royal76]

posted on Mar, 3 2007 @ 10:23 AM
I work in a prison as a nurse in the mental health unit (criminally insane).

Where to start? Where to start?

First: these people are not in prison for singing too loudly in the choir. They're criminals. Not just lawbreakers but criminal-minded.
Seconly: the mentally deranged ones CANNOT function in society and it is a kindness to clothe, house, feed them and keep them away from society at large.

That said, the guards are not the only ones watching over these prisoners. When I see a guard deliberately provoking an inmate, I speak out. They can get in big trouble for torturing, abusing or mistreating inmates. Plus, tormenting the emotionally frail makes my job (and theirs) harder. They have to be seen by the inmates as "in control" or in authority and so their role is different than mine. We joke about playing "good cop, bad cop" in our roles at the prison but there's an element of truth to that.

The prison I work at is more like a college campus with library access, canteen privileges, gym, chapel, etc. These are rewards that can be taken away and "levels" (of privileges) dropped with unacceptable behavior on the part of the inmate. They are not "perks" but methods of controlling behavior-incentives to behave. They can be put in "lockdown" (solitary confinement) for gross offenses, ie, fighting, sexual behavior (consensual or not), etc.

Over half of our yard is comprised of child molesters, and while I personally loathe child molesters, professionally I admit that they are the most well behaved prisoners we have (generally speaking). It pains me to realize that they will do their time quietly, without incident, and get out to reoffend. Child molesters even admit they can not be rehabilitated. Many other prisoners are in for drug related offenses and are not violent, although they are (or have been) unrepentent thieves to support their drug habits. They are a danger to society because they prey on society for their addiction. The murderers are generally decent, otherwise law abiding people who, in an fit of passion, killed someone (lover, etc.) Their crime can not be condoned whatever their reason and they deserve their punishment but I am not afraid to walk among them in the yard.

Then there are those who are just nuts, whacko, thoroughly delusional and are a danger to themselves and others no matter what situation they are in. I pray to God they never get out.

No matter what they are in there for, rules and policies and procedures exist for the staff to follow in dealing with the inmates. A breech of these rules is a serious offense and can lead to dismissal of the staff member or charges being filed against them. I don't know how caustic gases could get into a prison from any source. I have to go through a search of my person every day when I show up for work and they have confiscated the silliest things (cookies I made for staff members, etc.). Torture is not allowed in any form or fashion and will be dealt with promptly. Guards do not have free reign to torment as they please. There are too many people who also deal with the prisoners and ask uncomfortable questions about how that inmate got those marks, burns, cuts, whatever. This is not Shawshank Redemption where the guards beat to death prisoners just for jollies.

Prisoners do throw bodily fluids on staff members, do attack them without provocation, do behave like savages unpredictably despite treating them fairly and with courtesy. That's why they're called criminals. I try to keep in mind at all times where I am and not get too comfortable with my work environment. Some of these people are quite personable, likeable even but I never let that affect my dealings with them professionally. I keep them emotionally at a distance and treat them like any other patient I've ever treated. Inmates have access to remedy and recourse for any abuses they feel they have suffered and all complaints are thoroughly investigated. All in all, our system for dealing with societal predators is pretty darn good. There are more checks and balances than there are currently in our federal government. We consistently work at about half the amount of needed staff in a dangerous, stressful environment, isolated, grossly underpaid, under constant scrutiny from regulatory agencies,etc.

One last thing. To give you an idea of how good our prisons are here (comparatively speaking, I suppose), we had an illegal alien from Mexico who was about to be released and deported back to his own country. He was a non-violent offender and a model prisoner but the thought of being a free man in his own country was, to him such a step down from his life in an American prison, that he hung himself rather than be deported back to Mexico.

posted on Mar, 3 2007 @ 09:01 PM
Ok people maybe you would like to hear from a real life corrections officer. I've been a Corrections Officer for almost 17 years. The prison I work at is a multi-custody level pen. I've worked all posts in the prison from Public Access to Seg. I've never abused an inmate nor have I witnessed such abuses as mentioned in previous posts. If at any time I do witness such behavior on the part of a fellow Corrections Officer I will not only report it but testify against that person. I find it quite funny that those of you who have never walked the walk find it easy to critize those of us who do.

Tell me Melissa and Truthseeka have you two ever had to pick up a fellow worker who was badly beaten almost to death by inmates? Keep in mind that responding staff weren't sure if it was a staff member or an inmate because there was so much blood. I have. Have you two ever had another person throw their urine and feces on you; not because you've ever done anything to them but because you are there? I have. Tell me Melissa I'm guessing you are a young lady. how would you like to call all sorts of foul names on a daily basis just because you are doing your job? Maybe you two should put on a blue uniform and do the job right beside the people who do daily before you decide to slam us, if you have the courage and back bone.

Oh yes, and after doing that make sure you are emotionally able to help an inmate deal with the death of a family member and be ready to risk your life to save theirs.

So Melissa do you want to know what a Corrrectional Officer is? I'll tell you. We are teachers, counselors, medics, postal delivery, security, food service and many other roles that we play daily.

Who are we? We are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, daughters and sons. We are volunteers with the Red Cross, with Search and Rescue, we are Girl Scout/Boy Scout leaders, 4-H leaders. We help students who are struggling and coach sports. We donate time and money to community charitable funds. We are in short your neighbors; we are just like you.

posted on Mar, 3 2007 @ 09:33 PM
GH: thanks for the work you do and for sharing a much needed alternative perspective.
As a female nurse in an all male prison, I rely heavily on the guards to "back me up" and come to my rescue if needed. I have personally witnessed guards break up fights in the yard, carrying off the battling inmates like pieces of luggage taking them to lockdown only to talk reassuringly to them once the prisoners were secured. That takes character to throw yourself into a fray not of your making, protect both parties while being cursed at, physically assaulted, spit upon and then try to comfort and calm the abusive party. It takes character to deal with the same people day after day, hearing their problems, seeing their pain and still maintain a professional (ie: effective) relationship with them.
Some guards are better at their jobs than others (just like nurses) but I've had inmates corner me (to ask a question) only to look around and see a guard running out to make sure I was ok. Knowing how short staffed we all are in the prison system, I find that level of attention to security comforting.

posted on Mar, 3 2007 @ 09:41 PM

Originally posted by boogyman
Not a pretty picture but you can thank the "tough on crime" era for abuses such as this. Thanks to the tough on crime propaganda saturation a nonemotional logical perspective on prison abuse has been impossible to achieve in America.
What should we do with them stone them, chop of their hands, hang or execute them, make them do hard labor.

You bring it up to the average american and they say that because they are prisoners they deserve it and they should have thought of that before they broke the law.
That's what it boils down to. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. There are alot more people that grew up under the same condition that live their lives as good hard working people. They don't steal, rape or kill. These animals chose to victimize someone else.

Whenever an attempt at prison reform has been made it gets shouted down by politicians eager to appear tough on crime and to not appear to be supporting criminals.
Politians say one thing do something else all the time. Most of them should be in prison.
Thanks to a certain political element in America that shall remain nameless actually appearing to care about the rights of prisoners became an act of political suicide.
Well all of these poor souls have rights. Probably more rights then free citizens in most other countries.

Only recently with the passing of the "Tough on Crime" hysteria has serious discussion of prison conditions been possible. Notice how prison rape has been a part of american culture for decades appearing in countless jokes and skits in countless movies and tv shows. Its almost been accepted as a fact of life in America that anyone not in fighting shape will become someones "bitch" in jail. Yet it was only in 2003 that a serious preventative step was taken with the passing of the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
Again you're in a zoo full of savages. If your in there you deserve what you get especialy if you're a rapist or pedofile.

The fact of the matter is that prisoner abuse is widespread in America and the American populace have sanctioned it through the tacit approval of silence and acceptance. We allow it because we feel they deserve it.
Well I know that our prisons are better then 95% of prisons outside the US. I am sure they are not as plush and nice as the prisons in western europe or Canada but they are good enough for the animals housed in them.

posted on Mar, 3 2007 @ 10:40 PM
Whitewave, thank you for what you do. It is very difficult as I know from personnal experience to be a woman working in a male prison. The nurses in our prison are dedicated professionals and as you say some are better then others but that comes from being people and as people we have good days and bad days. It can be difficult to listen to an inmates problems when the day before indeed maybe just an hour ago they were calling you names or assaulting you or another person but that is the job I signed on to do. I must also tell you it has it's rewards as well. I will relate an incident that happened to me. It was about 16 years ago I was conducting my tier checks in one of our close custody units when I came across a young man crying. Crying in prison is a sign of weakness that you dare not show; so I stopped and asked him what his problem was. He responded that he was on CTQ and wanted to call his mother. I told him that I would make sure he got a phone call after count had cleared and before mainline. He then responded that his mother's phone had been turned off due to lack of money. I told him that if there wasn't an alternative number I would make sure a letter to his Mom was mailed that night. He looked at me in horror and said "Man I can't read or write!" I told him well you have a brain get registered into school and learn. I then told him I expected to sign a kite from him to the school to get registered. A month later I went to nights and lost track of him. Eight years later I was on the Main Gate when he was released to his Mom. He recognized me and told his Mom that's the guard who told me to go to school. His Mother then shook my hand and thanked me for helping him. He earned not only his GED but a two year degree and was the first in his family to get a GED let alone go to college. It was a great moment.

I've helped save lives of inmates who tried to kill themselves and who were having heart attacks and other such medical emergencies as well as victims of assaults. I've been downtown with inmates who had cancer and were dieing; not much I can do for them but listen but we do listen and do the best we can to offer comfort.

It's a tough job we do whitewave under conditions that most people can never understand. Thank you for all you do and thank you for your kind words it really hurts at times when corrections professionals are seen as low lives little better then those we watch and it is so not true. Hats off to you my friend custody and support staff make a great team.

posted on Mar, 4 2007 @ 10:49 AM
This is for gallopinghordes. I may not know what it is like to be a correctional officer, but I can tell you this. I would put that uniform on and go in to a prison every day and do my job. I have been mistreated by you so called c.o.'s and I did not do one thing to be mistreated. I am not the one sitting behind bars and should NOT be told what to do when I am in visiting someone. To have a male or female guard tell me to hurry up and lets go when my visit is over is wrong. I know when my time is up and I know what I am suppose to do when it is time to leave.
Maybe in your prison or the places that you have worked there has been no abuse by the guards, but it is out there. If you can not put on that uniform and go to work and deal with the ones that are misfits then maybe you should not be in there. Yes these people are in prison and most of them deserve to be there, but to treat them like # because you had a bad day, is unjust and unfair. Like any other job, you are suppose to leave your problems at the door, many of them do not.
Well wouldnt the name give it away? Yes I am a woman and I have talked to men in prison and have visited both state and local jails as a visitor. I know what goes on inside those walls and how they are treated.
My husband is in the county jail right now for beating someone up, the other guy is not doing time for starting the fight so I get what goes on in OUR local prison from him and how they are treated there. I have witnessed letters being thrown away because they came with an envelope that had a sticker on it. Have heard the guards talking about someone not getting what they ordered and saying "oh well then I guess she doesnt get anything this week". Have talked to a man that got beat while sitting in county jail who now can not hear because the guards hit him in the head and broke his ear drum. A man showed up without his paperwork to sit his 48 hours in jail for a D.U.I. and they threw him off the steps and broke his arm. Then when he did gain access to sit his time he was held in a room with no toilet, no bed and no windows. Our town has many lawsuits for the guards mistreating prisoners, and the prisoners have won.
Do you not think as a C.O. that maybe you were not doing your job when a riot broke out?
Abuse is abuse, no matter who gives it or receives it, and of course since you are on the other end of the topic then you need to defend yourself. But I know it happens and so does so many other people.

posted on Mar, 4 2007 @ 12:39 PM
Melissa 29pa,
I'm truly sorry that your husband is in prison. It must be very hard on you. I admire your dedication to your husband during his incarceration; many wives just leave/divorce their husbands in that situation. You are to be commended for steadfastness to your vows.
The anger and bitterness coming through in your posts is better understood in light of your most recent revelation; however, a few points need to be made.
One does not normally get put in prison for assault and battery unless it resulted in death or unless it was with a deadly weapon or especially brutal (chain whipping, etc.). One usually serves their time in the county jail or even house arrest, probation, or a fine. If it's just a brawl, the charge can even be dropped to disorderly conduct. I don't know the particulars of your husband's situation, nor do I need to, but there has to be more to the story than you're presenting for your husband to be put in prison rather than any of the other options available for sentencing by the courts, especially considering how overcrowded the prisons are. Prison sentences are reserved for those considered a real threat to society. Still, your devotion is admirable.
Abuses and mistreatment by "superiors" is rampant in all fields of business and industry, not just prisons. In my field of nursing, I've seen doctors yank phones out of the wall and throw them at the nurses. I've seen a surgical nurse get slapped in the face by a doctor who was operating on a patient, got mad at the nurse and slapped her with his bloody, gloved hand. He then yelled at her to go get him another pair of gloves since he had broken sterile technique by slapping her. Prevalence of abuse certainly doesn't sanction it's use and times they are a changing regarding hostile work environments.
In regards to violence on the prison yard, drugs, etc. visitors are the number one source of all contraband that comes into a prison yard. Doting wives/girlfriends smuggle in all sorts of "comfort items" for their loved ones (coc aine, alcohol, weapons "to protect themselves", etc.). What they're told is "some big guy is trying to kill/rape me for no reason whatsoever and the guards won't do anything about it and I need your help honey". What the real story usually winds up being is that the "victim" owes the big guy some money, doesn't want to pay or can't pay and knows he's in trouble. You (meaning any visitor) bring in a weapon or some form of payment of their debt (drugs,etc.) you will also be in trouble. Happens every visitation day where I work.
If real violations of prison standards occur, a real investigation is initiated. Prisons are overcrowded-there are always witnesses. As these situations come to light, measures are taken to ensure that there are no repeats; new policies and procedures are initiated so that everyone is clear on how to handle any and every situation that might arise.
There are jerks in every walk of life and guards are no different. They are the exception to the rule, though, as 99% of the ones I've seen are professional, courteous and in control of themselves at all times. They handle unpredictable and potentially violent situations with aplomb and equanimity. And if a guard tells you to hurry up when visitation is over it may be that there is some other situation going on that has nothing to do with you or your visitation but they don't want to alarm you-just get you out for your safety. Best to hurry up and get out when told and don't take it personally.

posted on Mar, 4 2007 @ 01:18 PM
Well, this thread has been an interesting read. It's clear most people outside the fence have no idea what goes on inside it. I had no idea I was such an evil person. I'm a real pr*ck.

You keep on thinking that if you want. While you paint me the villain I'll just step off to the side here and do my job.

My unit houses 50 to 60 mentally ill inmates, mostly baby-rapers and murderers. A regular shift means I work it with one officer under my command. We're a maximum-security facility, so this ratio is, statistically, pretty good compared to much of the US. Our count would be higher except that half the unit is designated as segregation. We try not to house mentally ill inmates in an all-segregation environment. They already have enough problems coping with prison.

The inmates on my unit take a lot of medication. On any given day there's about $5,000 worth of psych meds sitting in the control room in little red buckets. Quetiapine is the big mover these days, proof that prison is not the place for many of these people.

We spend the next hour reviewing the med log and organizing that aspect of the shift while also arranging escorts for seg inmates, coordinating meal preparation with our on-unit food service inmates, and updating rosters for the evening's activities - dayroom, recreation, library, canteen. This is second shift, so there is no break in eight hours except after the final shift count an hour before we're done for the night.

The count fluctuates daily because of the volatile nature of our clients. There is a constant rotation of suicide attempts and assaultive inmates cycling between our unit and the regular segregation building where they can be more closely observed and the staff/inmate ratio is higher. It's a bit safer than "out back" because all inmates move in restraints.

Even full restraints are no guarantee that we won't be hurt though. I broke my tailbone in a fight with an inmate twice my size and nearly three times my weight. I have spinal arthritis now and it's worst at that break. Two of my colleagues are permanently disabled, both had their knees destroyed. A fully restrained inmate dropped kicked one in the kneecap. The other slipped on a Vaseline-greased floor during a cell entry.

These men are good people. They'd give you the shirts off their backs. They have children and wives and mortgages. They worry about paying their bills and whether their kids will go to college. One ran out of coffee, so he borrowed some of mine while I was gone. When I came back to work after a couple of days off I found a brand new, unopened bag of beans in my little box. He'd only used two scoops of the stuff I'd had in there.

I've got to go work and I need a cup of coffee before I go. I'll post Part 2 soon. I've got nothing but time.

20+ Years

[edit on 3/4/2007 by Creep Thumper]

posted on Mar, 4 2007 @ 02:09 PM

Originally posted by Creep Thumper

My unit houses 50 to 60 mentally ill inmates, mostly baby-rapers and murderers. A regular shift means I work it with one officer under my command. We're a maximum-security facility, so this ratio is, statistically, pretty good compared to much of the US. Our count would be higher except that half the unit is designated as segregation.

Are you allegeing you guard 50 plus using only two men??? Something smells rotten in Denmark.

Where oh where is Intrepid when we need him?????

posted on Mar, 5 2007 @ 07:13 AM

Originally posted by shots

Are you allegeing you guard 50 plus using only two men??? Something smells rotten in Denmark.

I allege nothing. This is a fact. Our general population (GP) units have a ratio of 80:2. Our medium/minimum-security barracks has a ratio of 140:3 as of 0600 this morning. It's common knowledge that American prisons are understaffed yet bulging at the seams.

Incidentally, I am a woman.

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I would like to specifically address the portion of this thread that discusses the use of chemicals.

Some inmates turn out to be allergic to CN/CS/OC, etc. We don't find out until after they've been gassed/fogged, at which time these inmates see medical staff and are added to a chemical restriction list. Thereafter, we may not use chemicals on them.

Proper medical care is immediately administered after chemicals are used. The inmates are given an eyewash by an RN and are showered. They get fresh clothing and bedding and their cells are cleaned.

The air system is closed before the use of chemicals and purged afterwards.

You'll no doubt want to know why we use chemicals at all. We have the right to protect ourselves. That's why. Our job is already extremely dangerous. We don't have any weapons inside the fence except our brains and our hands. Everybody we deal with is a criminal.

A staff assault that would earn someone on the street prison time is only a conduct report at our institution. It's rare that these cases go to court. Officers don't get the same protection of law inside the fence that they get outside of it. We assume the risk when we walk through the front door and very often we pay for it.

Chemicals reduce the number of assaults and injuries suffered by staff. They are a distinct edge when we're dealing with inmates who have armed themselves.

Would you really have us defenseless against someone with a homemade knife? I hope not. These people don't intend to hurt us. They want to kill us. LEO's may use force one level above that of someone who may attack them. Using chemicals inside a prison (EDIT >) and elsewhere has been upheld time and again in the courts as a reasonable means of self-protection when one is threatened with weapons.

20+ Years

[edit on 3/5/2007 by Creep Thumper]

posted on Mar, 5 2007 @ 07:22 AM
Yesterday I ended my post by discussing my colleagues and their personal concerns. I pointed out that they're essentially as human as anyone else in the world. They worry about their families and their bills and the future.

This is also true of the inmates we look after. They, too, worry about their families and their bills and their future. While their circumstances are somewhat different, even if they treat us terribly, we maintain our professional demeanor and treat them with the respect they've not mutually afforded us. We take their abuse and then turn around and make certain they're fed, medicated, and educated. We see to it that they get their mail on time, that their psychological needs are met, and that they get adequate, quality out-of-cell time. It would be nice if our employer took as much care with us as we do with our inmates.

The average winter temperature on housing units is 75 to 80 degrees. I know of no one who can afford to keep their home at this temp. Inmates are showered daily; seg inmates are showered every other day because they're fairly inactive. Our clients get three solid meals per day and have 24-hour access to medical care.

Our institution has a variety of religious and recreational programs and we have a particularly well-stocked library. The man who runs it has a PhD in Classics from a prominent university. He is brilliant, but chooses to serve society by making sure our inmates are well-read. He is nearing retirement age, which is a shame. We hope his replacement will be as dedicated as he has been.

I've gotten sidetracked here, so it's time to tell you that an extra officer has arrived to assist with feeding the seg inmates. My two officers don gloves and begin helping our FS workers with preparing meal trays. The food is mediocre, which is really the worst thing you can say about our facility.

My officers and inmate workers gather their piles of trays and crates of milk and distribute the evening meal to our seg inmates. Those clients who have thrown their trays, feces, urine, or other things out their traps are given bag meals for a specified period of time. They get a couple of sandwiches and hard-boiled eggs, condiments, fruit, and a couple of cookies or a piece of cake. There is no seg loaf here. Special dietary needs are always met.

Diabetic inmates get low sugar trays or bags. Inmates who are having surgery or special medical exams get soft diets. Inmates participating in Ramadan get generous bag meals before sunrise and after sunset. We've had no Jewish inmates, so kosher has not been an issue yet. Pork alternatives are offered when the general population is fed bacon or other pork products. Vegetarians are also offered the appropriate items for their diet.

By now you may be saying to yourself that the prison I work in cannot exist, but I assure you it does. I've worked in it for over twenty years and during those twenty years a lot of things, good and bad, have happened. We've nodded at our successes and learned from our failures. Our policy and procedure manual fills four 4-inch binders and is still growing.

Again, I need coffee. It's pretty early in the morning. I'll probably post Part 3 tomorrow, time permitting.

20+ Years

posted on Apr, 10 2007 @ 03:18 AM

Originally posted by Creep Thumper
There is no seg loaf here.

AH the seg loaf...My brother has told me about that..All I can say is I wouldn't eat it unless I was starving.

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