OFFICER JOB DESCRIPTION
Prison violence has a way of erupting when least expected.
Things may seem at ease one minute and hell can break loose the next.
Seasoned Correctional Officers understand this and are trained in
preparing for the unexpected since their life depends on it. Many
offenders tend to release their frustrations out on prison staff.
With little or nothing to lose, violent offenders may take weeks planning
a deadly assault on an officer who only has seconds to react.
The most common threat Correctional Officers face is
violent offenders armed with sharp-edged weapons and inmates who toss
urine, blood or feces on them. This can be deadly due to the fact
that 25,000 U.S. offenders are HIV positive and 40% of America’s prison
population is infected with hepatitis C.
Today's prisoners are more treacherous, more aggressive and a far
greater threat to Correctional Officers working in prison. Officers
employed at maximum security prisons face triple the amount of danger
as those working in minimum security facilities. 33.5% of all assaults
in prisons consist of offenders brutally assaulting staff.
WHEN NEGOTIATIONS FAIL
When officers are confronted by hostile inmates, they
are required to remain calm. Some states require that Correctional
Officers learn tactics of neutralizing offender aggression with negotiation.
When negotiations fail, officers must rely on their defensive skills
and apply physical force.
Let’s take for example, a hostile offender armed with a weapon who
refuses to submit to hand restraints. An officer’s safety comes first
so the officer is required to avoid contact with the offender and
immediately seek safety. The officer then reports the incident by
radio and requests back up. Ranking officers, as well as back up arrive
at the scene armed with shields, body armor, batons and pepper-spray
or guns that discharge rubber bullets..
Ranking officers then request medical staff as well
as retrieve video camera equipment to record the incident.
As soon as medical staff are present and video cameras are documenting
the incedent, officers then order the armed offender to drop the weapon
and submit to hand restraints. If the offender refuses the officers
command, then the use of justifiable force is the only remaining option.
Before proceeding with force, officers must describe the situation
in front of the recording camera for evidence and as a protective
measure against law suits. Officers proceed by carefully approaching
the offender with shields and warn the inmate that if he does not
submit to the restraints a pepper-spray canister or rubber bullets
will be fired at them. (Some states such as Texas use pepper spray
while others such as California utilize rubber bullets).
Since most pepper sprays are refined to 5.3 million
shu and can cause similar pain to that of being burned by a blue-hot
torch, most offenders quickly drop to the floor and give up.
Once the offender is subdued and hand cuffed, the inmate is then escorted
to the unit’s medical infirmary where the inmate’s blood pressure
is checked as well as any potential injuries. After the medical evaluation
the prisoner is processed into the unit’s pre hearing detention building
and housed in a solitary cell where the offender awaits a disciplinary
court hearing conducted by prison administrative officers and staff.
Correctional Officers in most maximum security prisons must deal with
these situations at least 3 times a day.
It is common for most prisons to employ 200 officers for every 2,500
inmates. Officers are always out numbered and some have paid the ultimate
price as a result of staff shortages. Evidence of this may be proved
with one of many horrific examples.
On December 17, 2002, TDCJ Correctional Officer Danny
Nagle was brutally stabbed to death by an offender at the McConnell
Unit near Beeville, Tx. The weapon used to take Nagle’s life was made
of a metal rod removed from a typewriter sold to inmates in the unit
commissary. Shortly after Nagles death, staff employee Rhonda
Osborne was raped and murdered by an sex offender serving time
for rape at the J.B. Connally Unit.
Texas isn’t the only state with a high staff assault rate. California
leads second in the nation. In June of 2008, two gang members using
a crude shank stabbed correctional officer Jose Rivera to death at
the United States Penitentiary in Atwater, California. Armed with
only a radio, Rivera was alone patrolling about 100 offenders at the
time of the brutal attack. Examples such as these are the reason Correctional
Officers must continue intense training.
to Survive Prison
Nothing can be more difficult for an inmate than walking
into the prison for the first time.
Prisoner Arsonists and Prison Fire Outbreaks
The demand of alcohol behind the walls is so great
that inmates are willing to pay big.
Every year, hundreds of incarcerated inmates are extorted
by violent prison gangs.............