>Users:   login   |  register       > email     > people    

Losing control

 

Subscribe to Losing control 98 posts, 30 voices

Login to reply

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Very sound advice jamestown. I might add one other thing. In our facility, each cell has a night light. They are not very bright but, as you pass a cell look at the wall of the one your walking towards. If there is movement in the cell, you will see a shadow. Kept me from getting bombed out a few times. Also make sure you don’t panic when you come upon a suicide, especially a hanging. We had several Inmates who would hang theirselves and it would look like he was honest to GOD hanging. An officer would hit his alarm and when the first responder arrived, they would call the booth for the cell door to be open. When they entered the cell, The Inmate would jump down and start assaulting staff. OLD SCHOOL trick.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Third shift is a dangerous shift perhaps more so because in most facilities you are alone at night in the dark with restricted lighting (after all we don’t want to wake the poor inmates). I do think officers working the midnight shifts need to be more resilient and responsive to noises that do not sound normal such as tapping on bars, banging, water running for a long time, etc. The one thing you must be aware of is your positioning when doing a block or tier check. First, never do a block or tier check at the same time you did the previous check, always vary the time either earlier or later so inmates do not get a pattern of when you make a supervisory visit. When practical walk on the outside of the catwalk, that is the furthest from the jail bars as you can. Always carry a flashlight not only for checking on inmates or possible issues but a heavy steel flashlight can help you in case of an emergency. Keep your portable radio on at all times but reduce the volume so inmates can’t hear the transmissions or better yet get a ear microphone. Stay safe.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Respect is everything.I know I only got 8 years in and still learning.Officers egos are the biggest problem.Every once in awhile I will catch one making their rounds without a backup on third shift,there excuse"I got time in".Sure you will make that round for a thousand time without incident but there is always that one time.
Inmate doesn’t want to go to work,write up or accidentally wake up the unit put him on notice with the rest of the inmates.There are ways to get the job done without going south.The new guys got to realized when restraining am inmate is not a good time to bend their anger…I basically tell the inmates to follow my instruction when searching him after a fight and when putting restraints on.conducting yourself professionally is important in case it all goes wrong …..THXS advices appreciated from you both.
I got a saying is the easiest job to do and the easiest to lose….

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

I mentioned restraints in one of my articles about preventing lawsuits within the US District Courts. With all the cameras,logs, reports now a new officer especially has to be able to hold back their emotions and ego during a backup call. If an inmate is restrained by handcuffs, belt and shackles or any combination of those then the officers are responsible for that inmate not getting assaulted by other inmates. As most of us know the object of going into a cell or housing unit during an incident is to quash any problems ASAP. During the process all officers should conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Canusxiii, there were a few times when I responded to an assault on staff that once we got the inmate in restraints, I had to call off the dogs so to speak. Some of the Officers thought I was soft, the older ones knew what I was about. I did not believe in hitting a person in restraints. I, too, feared my own co-workers. If you let them go to far, it can go south quick. Sometimes you gotta know when enough is enough. Got a lot of respect from the old cons for the way I did business. Not much respect from the young inmates. Hell, they don’t respect themselves.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Commander,Jamestown is right.The fear element and the element of respect goes a long way I remember an incident not to long after two inmates escape am outside detail escape.We got the word on night shift that 13 inmates from their units where being transfer to another prison.We ,4 of us basically told them to pack or else lockup.Few complaint,we got on their faces “what where you guys expecting after that BS”.never panic knowing the situation could turn ugly.The inmates respected that.Their other choice lockup.
Sadly as we where transferring them.One of the officers in one of the first floor unit though it was a good time to clown around.Almost lost my cool…….his excuse was I didn’t know.
Sometimes I feared my own co-workers……sad but true…

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Very well said guys. At my former prison, there are no dorms. We have one man cells, 80 to a block except the LC block which has 20. Any Officer, Unit Management person or the investigator can carry OC after going through an 8 hour class and being contaminated. Though as I said, they can opt not to be sprayed. When we had an alarm or a fight was announced over the radio, the Lt. in charge of that zone was usually within the first or first three people to arrive. You evaluate the situation on the run, look to the people running beside you, then start spraying and dive in. We normally had the fights broken up by the Inmates themselves, they knew it would be bad if we got their and they were still fighting. The fear element, as Jamestown said, and the element of respect goes a long way.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

If the officer is a new probee obviously he or she should not be issued OC. A seasoned officer who has been certified in OC should carry it on his/her belt, as you said Canus it might be a good idea for your escort officers, shfit supervisors and always CERT to carry OC. I was never worried about an inmate grabbing my OC because they were scared to death of me having seen me in action during a fight in church. My reputation spread for not being an officer to mess with (and it did it by the book). I do think you need to have a PLAN. It has to be something that not only is in the SOPs but every officer needs to know what do in any situation. First I always told my subordinates that regardless if someone is hanging, blood all over or 8 inmates fighting in a block or tier you ALWAYS call for backup first. There is nothing more scary than coming onto a block or dorm seeing the floor officer and one other inside the blocks by themselves and the vest door open.If there is a supervisor available they are in charge of the issue on the tier or block but a good supervisor will consult with the floor officer before doing anything. In our facility we try to use verbal judo first to de-escalate and if they refuse to cooperate then we go to plan 2 with OC and enter the block or tier after it takes affect. I also agree with you about having a working radio.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Always good to get opinions from other officers with good hard learned experience.I believe in only two warnings before entering the dorms,one to clear the non-combatants from the combatants.“on your bunks or else”.The last one,well is a liability thing.The powers that be hate getting sue by inmates crying "he mace me in my eyes,blah,blah.
Commander.I believe that the mace should be secured in case of what you just mentioned in you’re post.Inmate grabbing the mace from the officer during a security check of the dorms.Idea,the backup CO watching from the gate carries the mace,backup make sure that the officers are not assaulted during tour carry a backup radio and keys to sucured the gates to avoid the inmates escaping into the halway and causing damage…….is all being debated right now by the powers that be,paper pushers.
Oh,I hear the a little bit a mace on scramble eggs those wonders for the taste.anything to make prison food edible……..

 
Remle riflepg irish assassin 286 posts

I do love some OC. Not only is it an effective tool for control in questionable situations, but a few drops in your chili gives it a nice subtle kick. Like a clidesdale.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

I like to call pepper spray “the pause that refreshes.” One thing for certain is after you spray OC, especially FOX you need to make sure the inmate gets immediate decontamination by using copius amounts of water. We have a eye wash sink on one of the floors but the best way was putting the inmate in a shower then have them hold their head up, force their eyelids open to flush out the OC. Of course the inmates have full restraints thus we had to decontaminate them.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

To piggy back on what Jamestown said, carrying OC is the greatest tool ever. Better in my opinion than a taser. Number one, most MK4 OC canisters hold 12 to 15 one second bursts. Don’t know of any tasers with that ability. Once you use FOX OC, 5 million SHU 1.67% capscinoids (probably spelled wrong), the Inmates will never forget it. Not only does it burn, it causes involuntary eye closure, trouble catching your breath, mucous membranes are irritated and the ability to fight back is hindered. The funny thing about OC, it is the percentage of capscinoids that make it extremely hot. You have to check with your state guidelines on what strength OC you are permitted. I believe Ohio is: under 5% can be up to 5 million Scoville Heat Units (Heat intensity of the pepper), 5% to under 10% is 1 million SHU and over 10% is 500,000 SHU. You can clear out a dorm with two, 2 second bursts of FOX with an MK-9 fogger. Make believers out of even the most hard headed. In Ohio, you get sprayed during certification. They do allow you to opt out of the actual spray. When I was a Chemical Munitions Instructor, I didn’t give a choice, I would verbally abuse them into taking the spray. Might sound wrong to some of you but, if you’ve never been given a level 1 contamination (direct spray into the eyes), you have no idea how you will react. Some people it doesn’t bother, some freak out, some go ape shit, some bounce off of walls. Once you’ve been sprayed, you have an idea how you will react and can then plan on defensive measures until help arrives. We would spray an individual, have them punch a bag for 30 seconds, kick a bag for 30 seconds, then drop some keys and make them find them. Then we would permit them to decon. Sounds sadistic but, I think those who have been contaminated, would agree that it could be the difference in living and dying during a critical incident. Just an example to show the importance: I was called to a seg block. I was the shift Lt. in charge of that zone. Upon my arrival, the officer stated that an inmate in a solid front cell had slapped him. When I got to the cell, I had my MK9 solid stream OC out. The Inmate recognized I had more OC and he threw the canister (MK-4) out of the cuff port and gave up. What the Officer failed to inform me was that the Inmate had also taken his OC canister and still had it. Needless to say after viewing the video, it clearly showed the Officer misusing his OC by putting his arm into the cell, thus allowing the inmate to take it from him. MK-4 has a range of 12 to 15 feet. From the cell front at my old prison is only 6 feet.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Canusxiii with respect to carrying mace (we use pepper spray) I used to carry it at all times as a supervisor. We need to think about officer safety. The days of going into a block or tier using hand to hand combat should be changed because there is no need to get officers injured going after an inmate(s). Pepper spray or mace is the great equalizer. As Commander and I discussed if you pepper spray them, walk away…wait…then go inside the bock or tier. Stay safe.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Wow,Time out card.Guess is a politically correct word for shit list.Next a paper trail where we are at,can’t just kick the inmate out of the dorm or lockout unless consecutive violations.
Trying extra duty,might work for the misdemeanor violation,out of their bed areas after 10pm or smoking on the dorms.Never a boring moment.
Now I am hearing throw the gravine that they want us to carry mace on the dorms…..Hummmm….Cells definitely .Dorms,I have questions.??

 
Male user commander 277 posts

A friend of mine’s son went into the Navy (I am a Navy veteran) and he told his dad that some recruit was getting yelled at so, he pulled out his time out card. WOW!!!!!! That floored me. I was in from 1981 to 1985. My Company Commander would have smacked the taste out of my mouth for even joking like that. HHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMM… Sound like a correlation from society getting softer to more people going to prison. I have a better one Irish, my dad would tell us that when he had to use the bathroom, he had to go into the woods, dig a hole, finish business, and cover it up. He used leaves for toilet paper. My dad was a bad man from birth.

 
Remle riflepg irish assassin 286 posts

No worries, I knew what you were talking about far as the military goes. Thankfully I did my time before that crap started. It really wouldn’t surprize me if some liberal retard got the bright idea of inmates having stress cards. But I guess now I’m old enough to start telling young guys “Back in my army days” stories. “In my day sonny we didn’t have no sissy stress cards. We had two sticks and a rock, and we had to share the rock!” A few more years and I can start the “40 miles butt naked uphill both ways through a blizzard walk to school” flashbacks.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Sorry Irish didn’t mean to imply that inmates have time out cards, that is something military do in basic training now for some reason. I do think we are so immersed in protecting inmate rights that we are giving them everything but the kitchen sink so to speak. Grieviances are a prime example of abuse of the system as it is.

 
Remle riflepg irish assassin 286 posts

Inmate stress cards? Wow.. but i’m sure the correctional system can get an endorsement deal with Charmin and Snuggle. Balance the budget right out.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Reminds me of the military. Now almost all of the military services (except Marines) allow basic training individuals to use a “time out” card in case a Drill Instructor upsets them or calls them bad names. Get real people. Same with inmates. I told one inmate that we would be putting a mint on their pillows at night…

 
Male user BMF 1 post

Before cameras you could “check” an inmate for acting like a fool and disrespecting you or another staff member. Now it’s all hugs & cookies and cuffports being held hostage, changing of the times.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

I’m of the same mind on this subject Commander. I can’t stand any officer who is dishonest. An officer who steals or introduces contraband is the lowest of stature, he or she needs to be removed immediately from their job, suspended and then dismissed. The mere thought that a fellow officer or subordinate is passing contraband just irks me to no end. What a slap in the face to all correction officers when a dirty officer conspires with inmates just to make some extra money.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

I have seen plenty of dirty Officers and other staff members come and go. I always told my Officers, if you know they are dirty, tell us. That is not snitching. That could save someones life. I am old school and understand it aint cool to snitch. But, there is a difference. I can’t stand anyone being dirty. No honor, integrity, or self-respect. I had a few I knew were dirty when I retired. I passed it on to a few solid Supervisors. Heard two quit. Lovin’ this retirement.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

I have seen plenty of dirty Officers and other staff members come and go. I always told my Officers, if you know they are dirty, tell us. That is not snitching. That could save someones life. I am old school and understand it aint cool to snitch. But, there is a difference. I can’t stand anyone being dirty. No honor, integrity, or self-respect. I had a few I knew were dirty when I retired. I passed it on to a few solid Supervisors. Heard two quit. Lovin’ this retirement.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Forums not working on Corrections.com…have you noticed that for the past two weeks you cannot click on “forums” to get any posts? Maybe its just on my end but I have tried to use it on Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. I did try to email the webmaster but it wouldn’t send to them.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Good luck to your friend.In a year since a transfer my blood pressure has gone down I had a more positive attitude.
We have a pretty good team at my old prison,good and bad days we back each other up.The inmates on the unit hated it.Teamwork makes a stressful job easier.Sadly my relieve cop was dirty,bringing in contraband.Half the supervisors got along with me the others with her.I just smile and did my job,no solid proof.Transfer became available,I took it and about 9 months later she got caught.
Is a stressful job at times.Is a shame when a good officer as your friend has to put up with that kind of crap.

* For speed and versatility, Corrections.com has been relaunched in opensource. Some older postings dates may be affected.




correctsource logo
Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of The Corrections Connection User Agreement
The Corrections Connection ©. Copyright 1996 - 2020 © . All Rights Reserved | 15 Mill Wharf Plaza Scituate Mass. 02066 (617) 471 4445 Fax: (617) 608 9015