Friday, April 26, 2013

The Headline Isn't The Worst Part of This Story

Four female prison guards impregnated by same inmate

Then there is the smuggling of drugs and cell phones that they were doing for him, along with two of them getting his name tattooed on their bodies.  Not too bright?

1 comment:

Gladorn said...

I work in corrections. I try to install in all of our new hires that humans are social creatures. We have to decide with whom we will identify and whom we will follow.

In theory, we want all the officers to work together and see themselves as peers. Too often the officers will identify the inmates as their peers. This can come from many issues.

First I'll bring out the issue of a "hostile work environment," in where a prison administration has become extreme in enforcing discipline among officers. Thus the officer "finds solace" in the inmates who are "sympathetic." Officer is easy/does favors for the inmates, the inmates give the impression to administration that they are in compliance. It looks good on the surface, but rotten underneath.

Second I will bring up that very few kids grow up wanting to be correctional officers. The entry level has low requirements of skill or education. Flat out, some officers have the same socioeconomic background as many of the inmates. (They have not developed the critical thinking skills to perceive things from a third perspective.) Thus the officers identify with the inmates more readily, and are thus greatly influenced by them.

(I can go much more in depth, but then I'll end up taking a few days to write this and then never get around to submitting it.)

What it comes down to is that keeping a mental wall between the officers and inmates is very difficult. The smoothest way of managing inmates is by being nice to them. But the easiest way of keeping a mental wall up is by identifying inmates as "not human." And that can create a hostile environment as the officer treats the inmates with disdain.

Why did these officers give in to the inmates in such a way? Obviously they identified the inmates as their peers. (Or worse, their betters.) I've seen that happen at my facility, and it's quite gut wrenching. I'd love to find out how long the officers were employed, what their education was, and what the work environment was like.