It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
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.”