I guess it takes a fight for your life.....

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I guess it takes a fight for your life.....

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    09-08-2009, 10:03 AM
Angry I guess it takes a fight for your life.....

...to find out who you can count on. Sorry, but I really need a place to vent right now and this seems like the only place that I can do it. I apologize in advance for the length of this (and I have had a couple of VERY strong drinks so I am feeling a little fuzzy already. I may accidently include some prison slang without realizing), I hope it makes at least a little sense.

Anyway, went to work last night and everything seemed cool at first. I was assigned to work in the medical department and I was in there with the nurses and a couple of inmates who were having treatments done. Me and the nurses were just talking and cutting up. I heard some scrambled transmissions on the radio (not an uncommon thing cause our radios are crap). So I put the radio to my ear so that I could hear what it was when it was repeated. About that time, an inmate stumbles into the hallway outside the door and he is coughing and gagging. I notice that he has his asthma inhaler in his hand so I think "Oh crap, he is having an attack and is about to go down on us". So I open the interior door and at the same time, another officer opens the outer door and brings another inmate in. She yells "Put these guys in the cage" (the cage is a secured waiting area made of chainlink fence designed to contain the offenders who are waiting to be seen by a nurse/doctor). So I did and began to wonder what was going on. Since I was not allowed to leave my post, I began to listen very closely to what was being said on the radio. The next words I hear are "STAFF ASSAULT!! STAFF ASSAULT!!" and that is all that comes over clearly, everything else is garbled. I get tense knowing what that could mean and thinking of all the friends that I have there. I could not respond to the incident because there were other inmates in the clinic and I could NOT leave them alone in there with the nurses (who are civilians). So I listened to the radio with a pounding heart hoping that everyone except the inmate was okay. The next thing I know, there are other officers bringing the inmate into the clinic for what we call a "PHD" physical where the nurses make sure the inmate is okay physically before we put him in lock-up. He had been sprayed by pepper spray (the fumes are miserable enough, like a really bad allergy; causing coughing and sneezing), and this whole time, I had no idea who he had assaulted. After he was taken out of the clinic, then officers began to arrive. First was my Lieutenant (who had first been assaulted by the inmate) and he was affected by the pepper spray and had a cut over his left eye from where the inmate had punched him. Then next person to arrive was a fellow officer who had been caught up in the following fight after the initial assault and ended up with a scrape on his head from wrestling on the sidewalk (which is covered in all kinds of nasty cooties). So I start to get a little bit mad because if I had known what was going on in time, I would have locked everything up and responded. Only later, after talking to other officers who were there, did I find out that there were about 7 officers total at the scene when this happened. Do you know how many actually tried to help when the Lt. Got hit??? 2!!! All the others just stood around and watched while the Lt. Was in a fight (which could have very well been a fight for his life). Now I feel really safe!! I guess that it takes a fight to find out who you can really look to for help when your life depends on it. Some of the people who work with me are just a death sentence waiting to happen. It really terrifies me to think of who I may have to trust my life to someday. SOME OF THESE PEOPLE CAN'T EVEN WALK AND BREATHE AT THE SAME TIME!!!!

Anyway, sorry for the novel. I just had to vent a little even if nobody is listening.
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    09-08-2009, 10:31 AM
Wow, the stress and drama that is involved with Correction Officers in Prison's - it's sad. I've watched a few telly programs about that on the History and the Discovery Channel, here and there, about Correction Officers.

It is a shock to hear about the Officers who just stood there and watched blank minded and motionless while your comrade was being attacked, because the training that you all go through is pretty intense, almost like Police Training.

I guess it is one thing though, to play make belief on what to do when an incident like this occurs, and another when it actually happens.

I'm sorry to hear about it, but at least your friend is ok and nothing to serious happened - yet.

The scarey thing is, is that you are watching men, who have absolutely nothing to loose, so they are on edge and willing to do anything they want, because hell - they have nothing to loose.
    09-08-2009, 10:31 AM
Green Broke
Some people just don't care. They just don't. Its horrible and I don't understand it.

I guy I knew was a really nice guy, smart, sporty pretty hot anyway one day he was on an escalator alone at a busy shopping mall and he had like a seizure/fit and fell down an escalator and was just lying there unconscious...and nobody helped him. Eventually someone called an ambulance. People just walk past but they just don't care.

But these work peers of yours are paid to care about this stuff, and deal with this stuff, you think they would. Its real slack and crappy of them.
    09-08-2009, 10:42 AM
Yeah, it scares me. One of the girls that was here, I can forgive her because she just started this job like last week and honestly didn't know what to do. She didn't just stand there and look, she was running from person to person saying "What do I do?!". It is the people who have been there for years that shocked me. Suprisingly enough, the state of Texas has absolutely NO standards when hiring correctional staff. If you have a high school diploma or GED and are kinda able to walk, we will hire you. The training we receive is skimpy at best. They teach us just enough to get ourselves hurt and seem to have no interest in improving things. All of this is why I am currently searching for another job. I do really care about some of the people that I work with, but the rest of them are definitely not worth risking my life over. Saskia, you are completely right, many of them just don't care. They want a paycheck and feel absolutely nothing for who they work with.

And MIE, what is really scary is that many of those men who have nothing to lose also have serious phychiatric issues and are on all kinds of medications to try to control it. HA!! "Paranoid schizophrenic, manic-depressive, bi-polar", we've got it all.
    09-08-2009, 10:54 AM
My daughter and ex SIL both worked at a prison in Ohio.
They both quite

Sil had over 10 yrs working there. He said they throw urine
And feces on you and if you hurt them you are diciplined for touching
Them. Only thing they could do was put them on report. LIke
What the hell. They are already in Prison.

To me it would be blanket party time.
I feel for you SM. You work in a potentially explosive place
With people who would hurt you in the blink of an eye.

Pepper spray is not all it is cracked up to be either so I hope
You have other means at your deposial to use as equalizers.

You be careful.
    09-08-2009, 11:00 AM
After reading your last post I will give you a job
Working with horses if I win the lotto and start
My arabian breeding and boarding facility I will
Build. LOL. (come on lotto).
    09-08-2009, 03:43 PM
Super Moderator
I'm sorry for that. Here we can see what happens when we spare with wrong parts (staff, education & motivation etc).

In my opinion, there should be some kind of sanctions for those officers who do nothing but watch a fight. Because of you own safety in a place like that you really should need to work together and have your others' back.

Keep yourself safe. Hope you'll find a new job soon.
    09-08-2009, 04:07 PM
I can understand sitting back and watching a convict fight, but when a fellow officer is involved I would think every officer there would jump in the fray.
I've never worked in a prison but spent some time there when in college. I did volunteer work with a parole officer. Its not someplace that you want to be timid or show any weakness. Sorry your co-workers let you down
    09-08-2009, 10:22 PM
The staff doesn't receive enough training to deal with this or what? Were they all scared or did they not know what to do or were they in shock or what's the story? This requires some serious discussion and management interference. This can not happen in a correctional setting. Do the injured parties have any recourse?
    09-09-2009, 08:59 AM
^^ Well, THAT would make sense. The only problem is that nothing TDC does makes any sense at all. They check common sense at the state lines. Because we are one of the lowest paid agencies in the entire country, they had to keep lowering the hiring standards in order to keep us at 70% staffing (instead of raising the pay so that we could get qualified applicants). Most of the people that we hire are there because they couldn't keep a job anywhere else and the motto for TDC is "Apply here, we'll hire ANYBODY". Unfortunately, this type of thing happens every day. All the time I hear about officers on other units who are getting assaulted and the nearest officer takes off running in the other direction. They are no longer willing to give us the training we need because of the fear of lawsuits. During the academy, all of the defensive tactics are "tabletop" classes (which means talking about it) and completely non-contact. There have been way too many people who would claim to be hurt during training and instead of making everyone sign a waiver or something, they decide "Lets just make it where no one CAN get injured." Great idea. I would gladly take bumps and bruises and broken fingers in training if that kept me from getting my ass completely beat down by an inmate; but most people don't think that way. I think it was a combination of they didn't know what to do, they were scared, and they didn't care enough to get involved. I am suprised you can't smell the ****ty attitudes all the way up in Canada.

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