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Prison tower guards, an American staple, disappear!

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posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 10:03 AM

CAMP HILL, Pa. (AP) — In the movies, it’s the prison guard perched in the perimeter tower who spots the escaped prisoner and sounds the alarm. In reality, video cameras and electrified fences are replacing the watchful, pacing corrections officer.

As prisons across the country look to reduce manpower and cut costs, those considering unstaffing towers in favor of monitored cameras and sensors are drawing the ire of unions who say officers — and prisoners — are being put in danger. “No camera has ever stopped someone from being beaten up,” said Ed McConnell, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association. “... When you need help, a man with a gun does it. ... A camera doesn’t help you.”

Pennsylvania is evaluating whether it needs officers constantly on tower duty, saying it could save nearly $5 million a year by joining the ranks of states including Ohio, Connecticut, California, Colorado, Florida and others that have made similar moves. “They’ve become pretty much obsolete,” John K. Murray, superintendent of the Camp Hill prison in central Pennsylvania, said of towers. “Towers are kind of the dinosaur way of doing our business.”


I don't know. After reading the article, I would still feel safer with a human on the wall-with a gun or other devices to prevent break-outs etc. Having never been lucky enough to see what it is like on the inside and what effect those guards have on the current resident population. Anyone?

It isn't like these are bad boy scouts that are in these places. The rougher the better I would think. Just seems to me that the flood gates are being opened...

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 10:14 AM
Star and flagged.

Many of the people in prison should not be and therefore it's absurd to lower safety protocol in the name of saving a dollar.

Even were every prisoner legitimately a horrible and evil person who had 'no place' in society, leaving them in an unsafe and often chaotic environment where they have to have real concerns every day about getting beat, raped, or killed, is cruel and unusual punishment.

We need men with guns to guard, not cameras.

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 11:01 AM
reply to post by sremmos

I wouldn't say many, I'd say some of the people in prison shouldn't be there. Yes they may be in there for something minor/retarded. But they still broke the current law...

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 01:04 PM
reply to post by sremmos

I tend to agree with your thoughts. Depending on what we as a society is willing to ease up on.

I think we could free up about 20% of our prisons and court system by decriminalizing Pot alone. It's a plant.

As a nation, we really need to start thinking about these major issues because they aren't going to get any easier. Besides, you got the Dems wanting to make felons able to vote when they are out of prison on and on.

Before too long, we will be the ones put in the prisons-for our safety.

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